Minister Hayward: Throne Speech Initiatives

November 11, 2022

The Ministry of Economy and Labour will focus implementing a minimum wage, creating a Department of Labour, expanding the child daycare allowance and continuing with financial assistance reform, Minister of Labour Jason Hayward said.

Speaking at a recent press conference, Minister Hayward said, “I am pleased to stand before you today to share the work that the Ministry of Economy and Labour will carry out over the upcoming parliamentary session. The Ministry will work to further enhance the quality of life for many Bermudian families by expanding social protections and advancing workers’ rights.

“Following the 2022 Speech from the Throne, the Ministry of Economy and Labour will focus on executing the following initiatives:

  • Implementing a minimum wage;
  • Creating a Department of Labour;
  • Expanding the Child Daycare Allowance; and
  • Continuing with Financial Assistance Reform

“After fulsome research and consultation, the Ministry will proceed with implementing Bermuda’s first statutory minimum wage. This is a major step in ensuring that Bermudians receive a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work.

“The creation of a Labour Department will enhance the services available to employees and employers which will promote employee protections and fair practice within the workplace.

“The Ministry will progress the reform to financial assistance, increasing access to child daycare benefits and make further changes to the Financial Assistance Regulations with an aim to provide additional support to individuals and families facing financial hardship.

“Each of these initiatives aims to further protect and support Bermudians and reflects the Government’s human centred approach to economic recovery.

2022 Throne Speech

Implementation of a Minimum Wage

“The implementation of a minimum wage reflects the social justice ethos of the Progressive Labour Party Government, ensuring that a fair day’s wage is paid for a fair day’s work.

“It is crucial, now more than ever, to establish a minimum wage to ensure that all segments of our society have access to their basic needs. It is this Government’s promise to provide social protection to all Bermudians. Establishing a comprehensive minimum wage is fundamental to ensuring that we progress as a just and equitable society. And so, designed to be a statutory wage floor, it is proposed that Bermuda’s minimum wage will be set at $16.40, which will be considered one of the highest in the world.

“The implementation of a minimum wage will provide a greater level of financial security for persons across many job categories, including:

  • Hospitality workers;
  • Barbers and hairdressers;
  • Caregivers;
  • Clerks; and
  • Cleaners.

“This change will improve the lives of many workers, especially those within occupations with traditionally low levels of remuneration.

“As we collectively strive to reduce inequalities that exist within our society, I thank the Wage Commission, employers and key stakeholder groups who have supported the process of establishing a statutory minimum wage rate.

Creation of the Department of Labour

“Bermuda’s workers have an economic foundation that drives the success of businesses and the delivery of various vital services. Workers must be protected, and industrial relations within the economy will be enhanced by certainty and understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties. The Government will advance a Bill to create a Department of Labour, giving statutory authority to posts within the Department to ensure workers’ rights are protected and provide employers with adequate guidance on Bermuda’s labour legislation.

“The department will be responsible for:

  • Promotion of labour standards and fundamental rights at work
  • Ensuring sound labour relations;
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement of labour laws; and
  • Advancing labour policy.

Financial Assistance Reform

“In the upcoming months, we will continue with the Financial Assistance Reform initiative to ensure that we have a social protections system which will guarantee that all families, regardless of their current economic standing, have access to resources which will allow them to meet their basic needs.

“As we progress Financial Assistance Reform, it is our goal to empower able bodied persons finding themselves unemployed or facing financial hardship to receive the help that is required financially, while also working toward gainful employment opportunities. The aim is to shift the perception of the financial assistance system from being a hand- out to a hand- up.

“To that end, The Ministry will be progressing the following reform items which include:

“Promoting the financial stability of individuals and families by amending the asset and income criteria to allow those receiving financial aid to:

  • Hold or receive gifts up to $2,500, and
  • Hold savings or investments up to $5,000.
  • Amend the Childcare Support rules to allow FA recipients to retain 50% of child support received to help cover child-related expenses.
  • Enhance the incentives to work program to help clients see a rise in their standard of living when they have a job or increase the number of hours they work.

Childcare Allowance

“The increasing cost of childcare has added to the economic stresses for parents. As a result, the Ministry will increase the Childcare allowance benefits and expand the pool of parents who can qualify. These amendments will provide many families the opportunity to afford suitable childcare for their children.

“Ensuring families have access to childcare is extremely important as it gives children the opportunity to develop the social, emotional, and cognitive skills required to prepare for primary school and beyond.

Building Blocks

“Building blocks will be an element of Financial Assistance Reform which will assist households requiring immediate assistance with expenses for a short period. Sudden hardships occur in life, like redundancy or a change in household composition due to tragic circumstances. In these instances, financial assistance can be provided to meet the short-term needs of households. In addition, changes will be made to the Schedule of Allowable Expenses to better reflect the actual costs of goods and services for which assistance is provided.


“As it has been demonstrated since this Government was elected in 2017, we remain committed to the progress of our people and this island we all call home. The initiatives featured in the Speech from the Throne will further strengthen our economy and labour force. As we implement these initiatives over the next year, I ask that we all continue working together to help ensure a better Bermuda for all.

“Thank you.”

Read More About

Category: All