House: immigration reform to continue

  • Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour (File photograph)

    Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour (File photograph)

Policies on work permits and Permanent Resident Certificates will be reviewed by the Government, new labour minister Jason Hayward said today.

Mr Hayward pledged that work on immigration reform started under his predecessor Wayne Caines, including the enactment of the Repatriation and Mixed Status Families Bill, would “continue uninterrupted”.

He said Progressive Labour Party backbencher Renée Ming, of the Immigration Board, would lead a review of work permit policy, and senator Crystal Caesar would chair a bipartisan immigration reform working group on the issue of Permanent Resident Certificate holders.

Mr Hayward told the House of Assembly: “We also look forward to working with the Bermuda First Group on their innovative ideas to make immigration processing more efficient.”

Other plans include the modernisation of the Labour Law Act, which would strengthen and enhance the rights of employers and employees and revise labour dispute mechanisms, and revisions to the Employment Act.

The minister said: “Both of these legislative changes are a long time coming and have had substantial input from employers, trade union representatives and the Government over the years.”

He added that the ministry would push for the business community to identify “experiential learning” for students, and to align itself better with Bermuda College.

Mr Hayward also pledged his support for international business growth.

He said: “While there have been layoffs and job losses in many sectors of our workforce, Bermudians employed by international companies largely continue to work.

“Bermudians make up almost two thirds of the workforce in international business. We must do all we can to keep these jobs and companies here in Bermuda.”

He highlighted the Government’s policies on work permits which aim to entice international business companies to the island, and financial incentives to grow the international business workforce.

Mr Hayward said: “For existing companies there are exemptions for payroll tax for new jobs created and, in the future, exemptions for social insurance and pension contributions for a period of one year will be introduced.

“These polices help reduce the cost of employing people in Bermuda and can aid in growing Bermuda’s economy.”

He added: “We continue to reap the benefits of the international business community’s presence. Beyond employing many Bermudians directly, the international sector engages many local companies that employ Bermudians, and makes substantial contributions to the third sector.”

To read Jason Hayward’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”

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Published Jun 19, 2020 at 1:16 pm (Updated Jun 19, 2020 at 1:16 pm)

House: immigration reform to continue

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