OBA tables Bill to promote equality and strengthen human rights laws
A Bill designed to strengthen Bermuda’s human rights laws and promote equality was yesterday tabled in the House of Assembly by the One Bermuda Alliance.
The proposed legislation would create an Equality Council at the Human Rights Commission which would promote equality, opportunity, and equal pay in the workforce, including “equal opportunities in training and advancement, to attain managerial and influential positions”.
Scott Pearman, the shadow Attorney-General, who tabled the Bill, said: “This OBA Equality Bill will enhance our island’s human rights laws and help to promote equality for all Bermudians, particularly in the workplace and on government boards and committees.
“The OBA bill strengthens human rights laws in numerous ways. It enshrines a new ‘presumption of equality’ in our existing law.
“It also creates a new Equality Council to advocate for workplace equality and, importantly, focus on training and advancement in the workforce.”
The Bill would also allow employment tribunals to determine workplace discrimination claims and expand the remedies for discrimination, including new civil penalties which would fund the Equality Council.
It also promotes equality of gender and racial representation on Government boards and committees.
Cole Simons, the Opposition leader, added: “We in the OBA believe that human rights lies at the core of our society today.
“We believe in equal opportunity for everyone.”
Mr Simons added: “One of the strengths of our community is our differences.
“Our community must continue to come together, to strive to become one Bermuda. To do this we must eliminate barriers of inequality.
“We believe our legislation will help to ensure that all levels of society are open to everyone and that all people are treated equally, and have equality of opportunity.”