Topic Archives: Labour, Employment & Immigration law

The Incentives for Job Makers Act 2013 and the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment (No.2) Act 2013 came into operation in December 2013. These two acts effectively introduce various changes to the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (“BIPA”) and the Economic Development Act 1968 (“EDA”) which seek to make it easier for companies to obtain work permit exemptions for certain senior executives and for certain senior executives to be eligible to apply for a Permanent Resident’s Certificate (PRC). Read More «»

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There have been a number of developments in immigration laws and policies this year which have and will impact international and local businesses in Bermuda.

The Incentives for Job Makers Act 2011(59 KB PDF) came into force in 2012 which introduced changes to the Economic Development Act 1968 (“the EDA Act”) and the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (“the Immigration Act”). Essentially, under these amendments, a qualifying company is able to apply for section 3(B)(2) designation under the EDA Act. If granted such designation, the company is able to make application(s) under section 5 of the EDA Act whereby senior executives can obtain exemptions from work permit requirements as set out in the Immigration Act. Thereafter, if various requirements and qualifications are met by the company and senior executive, the senior executive can apply for a permanent residency certificate under the Immigration Act. Read More »

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In March 2013, the Chief Justice issued a decision in the case of Kentucky Fried Chicken (Bermuda) Ltd v Minister of Economy Trade & Industry and the Bermuda Industrial Union [2013] Bda LR 19 (381 KB PDF). Kentucky Fried Chicken (Bermuda) Ltd. (“KFC”) sought judicial review of the Minister of Economy Trade & Industry’s (the “Minister”) decision to refer KFC’s dispute with the Bermuda Industrial Union (“BIU”) to binding adjudication under the Trade Disputes Act 1992 (the “Act”). The Chief Justice refused KFC’s application citing the Court’s limited ability to review such references and only in “extreme cases”. Read More »

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The Minister of Home Affairs, The Honourable Michael Fahy announced in the Senate on 20th November, 2013 that a new committee has been established to review and modernise Bermuda’s labour laws (the “Committee”). Minister Fahy has indicated that the Committee will specifically look at the roles that Bermuda’s labour laws play in job creation and retention with the aim of introducing a new system designed to be more inclusive and fairer.

This newly formed group is comprised of experienced labour attorneys and key workforce sector representatives, including several of the Island’s unions and the Bermuda Employers’ Council. The key pieces of legislation to be reviewed by the Committee include the Trade Union Act 1965 (and accompanying regulations), the Labour Relations Act 1975 (and accompanying rules) and the Labour Disputes Act 1992. Minister Fahy also noted that it intended to involve the International Labour Organisation as part of this process.

MJM Director, Alan Dunch, a seasoned labour lawyer, is Chair of the Committee.

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If you are a business owner, you will no doubt be focused largely on your target customers and how best to market and sell your products or services to them, while keeping costs at a minimum, especially in this economic climate. An important piece of advice we give is not to cut corners when it comes to your employees. Well drafted contracts of employment and employee handbooks are critical in safeguarding your business. Money set aside for legal services in this area will be well spent, especially if an issue or dispute arises.

In our experience, one of the biggest concerns, especially with small businesses, can be the lack of a written employment contract. This presents difficulty to employers on two levels. First, it is a violation of the Employment Act 2000 (the “Act”) (130 KB PDF) which requires all employers to provide their employees with a Statement of Employment. Second, in the event of a dispute, the lack of clear, written terms leads to “he said, she said” situations, making it more difficult to prove matters one way or the other. Read More »

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