The Ministry of Economy and Labour reminds all employers of Live-In Domestic workers/employees that the provisions in the Employment Act 2000, which sets out the rights of employees, also apply to all Live-In Domestic employees, whether Bermudian, spouse of a Bermudian or a work permit holder.
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:
Ø They cannot prevent their employees from leaving the employers’ residence;
Ø Confiscating employees’ travel documents is prohibited; and,
Ø 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.
All workers must be aware of their rights. To that end, the Ministry recently released ‘A Guide to Working in Bermuda’. This comprehensive and easy-to-understand overview of the laws governing working in Bermuda is a reference guide for the Government, agencies, employees, prospective employees and employers should they require assistance.
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 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.
Employers and Employees who require clarity or assistance are encouraged to contact the Ministry’s Labour Relations Section at 297-7716 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To report an employment violation, visit bit.ly/employerviolations.
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