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Minister reveals labour dispute numbers

Labour issues: Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, Minister for Home Affairs, gave the House of Assembly an update on labour dispute numbers and the work of the National Training Board

A total of 641 labour dispute inquiries were handled by Government’s labour relations section during the 2015-16 year.

More than 180 of the were complaints, while 448 were described as consultations.

Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, Minister for Home Affairs, said 58 per cent of complaints involved termination and 20 per cent were concerned with wages.

The remaining 22 per cent of complaints was made up of disputes over layoffs, redundancy, constructive dismissal, sick pay and vacation pay.

Ms Gordon-Pamplin was speaking as she delivered the National Training Board reports for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 years in the House of Assembly.

She said 2014-15 saw 661 labour dispute inquiries lodged.

A total of 216 were complaints, while 445 were consultations.

Ms Gordon-Pamplin said that the department had upgraded the Job Board website since the last annual report, while new and updated policies had been introduced to improve efficiencies.

She highlighted some success stories through the summer employment programme and students who had achieved qualifications through the NTB’s overseas funding programme.

Ms Gordon-Pamplin added: “There is a concerted effort to encourage businesses to invest in the development of Bermudians by using the tax waiver incentive programme.”

The scheme means employers can apply for a payroll tax waiver if they can provide evidence of training programmes designed to develop Bermudian talent, which must be accredited by the department before a waiver is given.

Ms Gordon-Pamplin said nine organisations were granted waivers in 2014 and seven in the following year.