Govt sues Sovereign Group
Government is suing the Sovereign Group and its related companies,
The Royal Gazette can reveal.
The six writs, which were lodged by Attorney General Michael Scott on behalf of Premier Paula Cox, in her capacity as the Finance Minister, on Friday August 12 against The Sovereign Group Ltd (two), The Sovereign Group, Sovereign Flight Support Ltd, Sovereign Ground Services Ltd and Sovereign Group Services Ltd.
Asked about the nature of the writs, a Government spokeswoman said: “Minister Scott does not wish to comment at this time.”
Ms Cox had not responded to the same query at press time.
In April an investigation by this paper revealed that a number of ex-Sovereign Group workers had to fork out thousands of dollars from their own pockets to pay for medical treatment because their employer failed to pay their health insurance, with one woman having to pay out $14,000 of her own money for life-saving surgery despite the company continuing to make deductions from their pay cheques.
The former staff alleged there were several occasions when staff were not paid on time and some are still owed money by the company, while many of their social insurance and pension contributions were not made either.
The Gazette obtained documents that corroborate their claims, including memos from Sovereign detailing staff health insurance, payroll tax, pension and social insurance contributions; pay, bonuses and benefits; pay slips; and a copy of the company’s policies and procedures; as well as medical bills from the Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB), correspondence with Johns Hopkins Hospital, pension statements from BF&M and a summary of social insurance contributions from the Department of Social Insurance.
Government had to pay out $2.75 million at the end of 2009 to settle with Bermuda Aviation Services (BAS) for breaching the company’s exclusive rights to offer private jet services at the airport, which ran until 2014, when they gave rival operator Sovereign Flight Support permission to provide a private jet service. In return, BAS agreed to waive its rights. Government was also ordered by Supreme Court to pay up more than $202,000 in damages for contravening BAS’ rights.