News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – The Minister of Economy and Labour, Jason Hayward, represented Bermuda at the 12th ILO Meeting of Caribbean Ministers of Labour in Guyana ahead of the 111th International Labour Conference in Geneva next month.
Held from May 23 – 25, the meeting of Ministers, which includes the participation of Ministers of Labour and senior officials from thirteen ILO member States and nine non-metropolitan territories in the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean as well as representatives from regional worker’s organizations and employer’s organizations, was last held in 2019.
The meeting aligns with the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions, released in September 2021, and the CARICOM Heads of Government’s call for a “whole of government and society approach to recovery and resilience”, made in July 2022 and intended to address global, regional, and national actions required to accelerate the mainstreaming of social justice for transformative socioeconomic development in the current multi-crisis context.
With a theme of Social Justice – The Foundation for Sustainable Caribbean Transformation –meeting’s objectives:
- Provided a forum for Caribbean Labour Ministers and Social Partners to exchange perspectives on the global, regional, and national actions required to accelerate the mainstreaming of social justice for transformative socioeconomic development in the current multi-crisis context;
- Addressed labour migration as a potential enabler of decent work and acceleration factor in Caribbean development, including the importance of systemic, rights-based, inclusive approaches, to addressing governance challenges in a hyper-mobile region; and
- Examined Caribbean progress on Just Transition policy and institutional mechanisms and determined priorities for action and ILO technical assistance for the 2024-25 biennium.
At the conference, Minister Hayward shared with his Caribbean Ministerial colleagues that Social Justice, in this context, refers to the active advancement of the socioeconomic conditions of the population. He further advised, “In Bermuda, while the economy is doing relatively well, rebounding from the pandemic and showing many signs of resilience, there is much work to do to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the people of Bermuda.”
Reflecting on the event, Minister Hayward said: “I was able to share with my Caribbean Ministerial colleagues that the Government has embarked on a human-centred strategy to increase social and labour protections, advance labour policy and connect the people of Bermuda with jobs. I shared some key advancements made through increasing eligibility and benefits for Financial Assistance programs, creating a short-term hardship benefit, developing a national reemployment strategy and, particularly, a robust youth employment strategy, implementing a minimum hourly wage rate and critical amendments to the Bermuda Labour Code.
“Overall, the discussions were productive, and it was my pleasure to represent Bermuda at this significant meeting to share the work that the Ministry of Economy and Labour is doing to ensure access to opportunities, progress and a better quality of life for the people of Bermuda, through human-centred policy development.”