Employer fined for not insuring workers
An employer has been fined a total of $1,500 for failing to insure all his workers, after a member of staff was left with lingering injuries from a traffic collision.
Percy Caines was convicted in Magistrates' Court for the offence, between June 12, 2012 and January 7, 2013.
The court found that Caines, 47, also failed to notify his staff that they weren't covered by insurance.
Caines, of Spice Hill Road, Warwick, initially denied the offences, but was found guilty on May 29.
He was fined $500 for the first offence by magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo, and $1,000 for his second change.
One of his employees, Jahni Holder, was left injured by a serious multi-vehicle collision on November 9, 2012, near Marley Beach on South Road, Warwick.
It subsequently emerged that Mr Holder, who was 18 at the time of the crash, didn't have insurance through his workplace.
Providing staff and their non-employed spouses with health insurance is a legal requirement for employers, including self-employed workers.
Although The Royal Gazette often fields calls from workers claiming their employer has not provided cover, investigations into possible delinquent bosses is the purview of the Bermuda Health Council, which can also bring them before the courts if the complaints prove valid.
A statement from the BHeC added: “The Health Council has authority to enforce compliance with this requirement and we do so in a number of ways. One of the most important is following-up on reports of non-compliance.
“Whenever it's reported to us, we investigate to confirm whether it's true or not, and to ensure the employer obtains a policy and pays outstanding bills or faces criminal penalties.
“We receive reports from a range of people in the community; they can come from an affected person or a healthcare provider who knows their patient is working but has no insurance.
“Reports are always treated confidentially. Health insurance companies, by law, also report to us every month on policies that are not active, and we follow-up with errant employers.
“Luckily, most employers in Bermuda are fully aware of and comply with their obligations, and a majority provide benefits in excess of the minimum required.
“However, in instances where this doesn't happen, the Health Council investigates all cases and brings them to a resolution to ensure employees have the protection the law entitles them to.”
Anyone with a possible complaint should contact the BHeC's compliance officers at 292-6420, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or completing an online form at http://www.bhec.bm/queries.