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Senate amends employment law

Reservations: Senator John Wight

Senators yesterday passed the Employment Amendment Act in the biggest expansion of employees’ rights in 20 years.

The Act seeks to provide protections for workers against extended probationary periods and bullying. In a slew of other amendments, bereavement leave and anti-natal care regulations will also be strengthened.

Independent Senator John Wight said that he had “several concerns” with the bill, which could increase costs and add “an administrative burden”.

“This will make Bermuda less competitive when Bermuda needs to be creating more jobs,” he said. “I really believe that this doesn’t align with Government’s stated goal of creating jobs.”

Opposition senator Robin Tucker, who works as a human resources manager, also expressed reservations, but otherwise commended Government for bringing forward legislation that is “to the benefit of the people of this country”.

Independent Senator Michelle Simmons reminded the chamber that the Act amended a law that was 20 years old and society had changed significantly in that time.

“Here we are, 20 years later from the time the Employment Act came into being and truthfully there’s a need to update it,” she said.

After being signed by the Governor, the new laws will come into effect on June 1.

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Published January 14, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated January 13, 2021 at 7:02 pm)

Senate amends employment law

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