Minister Jason Hayward’s Labour Day Message

September 4, 2023 | 2 Comments

[Labour Day Message from Minister Of Economy and Labour Jason Hayward]

Greetings Bermuda.

As we gather today in recognition of Labour Day – a day dedicated to honouring the hardworking men and women of our country – I am filled with pride and optimism for the future that lies ahead.

We gather today to celebrate the contributions of workers past and present. Through their extraordinary sacrifices and achievements, these workers have made invaluable contributions to our country. Their labour has made Bermuda what it is today.

It has been three years since we were propelled into economic uncertainty with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and I am once again honoured to stand before you today as the Minister responsible for an improving economy and increased workers’ rights.

The theme for this year’s Labour Day is: “We built this Island”. This is a fitting theme given the perseverance workers and unions have shown in equal measure, both in times of prosperity and in times of scarcity. Today, this resilience is proof that you, the workers, have made Bermuda the gem of the Atlantic.

This Government worked tirelessly and deliberately to ensure that those who have contributed to the success of this island are at the forefront of change and are afforded fundamental rights at work as well as adequate social protections.

To realise this human-centered approach, this Government has worked with unwavering commitment throughout the past year to advance initiatives that will ensure social justice within the workplace:

  • The implementation of a national minimum hourly wage rate of $16.40 for all workers to ensure that persons have access to a decent wage.
  • The creation of the Department of Labour which is responsible for the administration of all employment and wage legislation to advance workers’ rights and guarantee fair working conditions.
  • The issuance of Independent Contractor Guidance to aid employers and employees in assessing their employment relationship, reduce the occurrence of employee benefits being compromised and lowered the occurrence of disputes being brought before the Employment and Labour Relations Tribunal.
  • The development of a Guide to working in Bermuda to promote public awareness of Bermuda’s labour laws.
  • Amendments to the Department of Immigration policy as it relates to domestic workers and the reiteration that domestic workers are entitled to all rights afforded under the Bermuda Labour Code.

This Government stands firm in its commitment to the future labour force and will continue to ensure that training, scholarships and apprenticeship opportunities remain accessible to persons who are eager to join the world of work.

This Government stands firm in its commitment to the workers of Bermuda and is working on the following initiatives, in consultation with its social partners, to further strengthen employee protections:

  • Ensuring equal work for equal pay within all industries.
  • The furtherance of a living wage rate for the workers of Bermuda.
  • Monitoring and refining the minimum hourly wage rate.
  • Improving legislation on tips, gratuities and service charges to ensure fairer application within the service industry.

The Bermuda Government is also seeking to increase Bermuda’s working population. To achieve that aim the Government will work to ensure we retain our current workforce and reduce migration. Ensuring our students return to Bermuda after they complete their studies abroad, and reducing the driving forces which lead to Bermudians leaving to live elsewhere are national priorities.

The Ministry of Economy and Labour will continue to keep workers at the forefront of policy development and a human-centered agenda that promotes equality, fairness, respect and dignity for all within the world of work.

On this Labour Day, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the workers who form the backbone of our society. Your dedication, skills, and unwavering commitment are the driving force behind Bermuda’s progress. As we celebrate our achievements, let us also renew our commitment to creating an environment where every Bermudian can flourish, where opportunities are abundant, and where each individual can contribute to the growth and prosperity of our beloved nation.

Thank you.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Steve says:


  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    “It has been three years since we were propelled into economic uncertainty with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic”

    The suggestion that our economic uncertainty began in 2020 shows a complete and utter lack of understanding of our economic circumstances. I would put the fateful date in 2007 or 2008.

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