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Employers warned after reports of ‘unfathomable’ behaviour

Employers were today warned that the terms of the Employment Act apply to live-in workers after reports of “unfathomable” behaviour.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Economy and Labour said: “Unfortunately, the ministry, through consultation with various stakeholders and queries received by the Labour Relations section, is aware of allegations made regarding instances of precarious and exploitative working conditions of vulnerable live-in domestic employees.

“As such, and to remove all doubt, employers are advised that they cannot prevent their employees from leaving the employers' residence, confiscating employees' travel documents is prohibited and regular working hours must be defined in the employment contract.

“It is unfathomable that in this day and time, a domestic or any other type of employee is not treated with respect and dignity by their employers.

“We must not tolerate this behaviour and report the mistreatment and exploitation of employees to the authorities.”

The spokesman said yesterday that the ministry recently released “A Guide to Working in Bermuda”, a comprehensive overview of Bermuda’s laws regarding working on the island, to help ensure workers are aware of their rights.

“The guide also provides a listing of resources for employees and employers to consult regarding issues related to the workplace and helpful information specific to work permit holders,” the spokesman added.

“The rights and responsibilities of employees and employers are also captured and explained clearly.

“This publication is easily assessable to all employees, employers, and persons considering employment in Bermuda and can be found online in the Labour Relations office resources section at gov.bm.

“Furthermore, employers will be required as a part of the work permit process to confirm that work permit holders have been made aware of and provided with a copy of the guide.”

Any employers or employees who need clarity or assistance are invited to contact the Labour Relations Section at 297-7716 or sstephens@gov.bm.

To report an employment violation, visit bit.ly/employerviolations.

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Published March 23, 2023 at 7:54 am (Updated March 23, 2023 at 8:30 am)

Employers warned after reports of ‘unfathomable’ behaviour

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