Column: Burgess On Workers, Initiatives & More

February 4, 2024 | 8 Comments

Derrick Burgess Bermuda Feb 4 2024

[Opinion column written by MP Derrick Burgess]

The PLP has been unwavering in our commitment to support the workers of Bermuda. This Government has worked tirelessly to improve workers’ rights and protections.

Much has been achieved over the last 5 years to transform promises into a tangible reality. Through a series of legislative reforms and initiatives, the government has focused on strengthening employee well-being, promoting fairness, and fostering a more equitable work environment. The Government’s track record is clear; the PLP Government has:

1. Enhanced Compensation and Leave:

  • Minimum Wage: In 2023, Bermuda enacted its first-ever statutory minimum wage of $16.40, ensuring a baseline standard for worker compensation. This landmark legislation will help to improve the lives of many Bermudians and their families.
  • Increased Compensation for Injury: Amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act in 2020 provided greater financial support for employees injured on the job.
  • Expanded Leave Entitlements: The 2020 Employment Act amendments extended maternity leave to 13 weeks and introduced 5 days of paternity leave, recognizing the importance of family time for working parents.

2. Stronger Protections and Fairer Practices:

  • Anti-Discrimination Measures: The Employment Act amendments also included provisions against bullying and sexual harassment, creating a safer and more respectful workplace for all.
  • Improved Redundancy Procedures: Clearer guidelines and increased compensation for redundancy situations were implemented to offer greater security and support to displaced workers.
  • Clarification of Employee/Contractor Definitions: This helps to ensure that individuals receive the rights and protections they deserve based on their employment status.

3. Streamlined Regulations and Enhanced Enforcement:

  • Consolidated Labour Legislation: In 2021, the Trade Union and Labour Relations [Consolidation] Act streamlined various labour laws into a single, cohesive framework.
  • Establishment of the Department of Labour: This dedicated department strengthens the government’s capacity to enforce labour laws and regulations effectively.
  • Publication of Guidance Documents: Guides covering topics like working in Bermuda, the minimum wage rate,and independent contractor status provide valuable information and resources for both employers and employees.

These initiatives represent significant steps forward to securing a brighter future for Bermuda’s workforce. There is no doubt that the Progressive Labour Party has demonstrated and will continue to be the Party which supports the workers of Bermuda.

- Derrick Burgess 

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Comments (8)

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  1. wondering says:

    You’re joking right.
    Don’t give a fish a trophy for swimming underwater!

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Actually, the Deputy Speaker is correct. The PLP Government has enhanced workers’ “rights” over the past 5 years, at considerable expense to every employer in Bermuda.

  2. watching says:

    Contrary to the narrative spouted in different forums, the PLP has done a lot to benefit the workers, especially during the cost-of-living spike that is making life difficult. Of course, everyone is not going to feel the pinch the same way, but the reduction in payroll tax, the reduction in vehicle licenses, the reduction in duty for most essential food items. The establishment of minimum wage, the increase in family leave. All these decisions are not made lightly, but are made with the people in mind, and can apply to everyone. Yes, it is sometimes hard to be optimistic, and to every action there is a reaction that is sometimes unintended, but the narrative that this government has done nothing for the people is simply untrue. Whether you voted for them, or like them, or hate them, can we be objective in our criticisms?

    • hey says:

      If you earned 96,000 you saved $360 over the whole year. that is less than $1 a day.

      NOT groundbreaking. Sugartax ate way more that that out of your annual budget. This is even before looking at all the other tax increases.

      The Employer tax increases made pay rises extremely difficult. Employees would have earned more if PLP Government had done nothing.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        “Employees would have earned more if PLP Government had done nothing.”

        Maybe. Maybe not. That depends on whether the employer gives annual cost of living pay rises or bonuses or whether the employer is too greedy to care about the employees.

    • wondering says:

      And if one performed 8th grade mathematics, the actual savings is miniscule.

  3. Vortex says:

    Derrick Burgess. Hopelessly lost in 1980.

    These are depressingly outdated ideas, time for the dinosaurs to be replaced.

    • watching says:

      Did the OBA implement them? Would they have implemented them had they been elected?

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