News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – The Ministry of Social Development and Seniors joined the global observance of the United Nations International Equal Pay Day. 

“This day, commemorated on the 18th of September, is dedicated to raising awareness and highlighting the global efforts towards achieving equal pay for work of equal value.” said Tinée, Minister of Social Development and Seniors. 

“In November 2019, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing International Equal Pay Day. The focus of this day is in response to the slow progress in women’s economic empowerment, the undervaluing of work traditionally held by women, and the difficulties in tackling pay equality.” 

“The UN believes that equal pay is essential to building a world of dignity and justice for all. It is a fundamental value that many communities and countries strive to embrace.” 

“UN Women, a UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, shared that women only make 77 cents for every dollar earned globally. This wage gap is alarming and even larger for women who have children. UN Women has estimated that it will take 70 years to close this gap.” 

Minister Furbert added, “Bermuda’s statistics relating to pay present another story. According to the latest statistics by the Bermuda Government’s Department of Statistics, the Bermuda Job Market Employment Briefs 2020: 

  • In 2019, Bermudians had the lowest median gross annual income of all the groups with $60,112 compared to non-Bermudians/Spouses of a Bermudian $74,5487 and $73,220 permanent resident certificate holders $65,531. 
  • When looking at the race of the job holder, the 2019 gross median income for whites was $84,068 compared to blacks $58,260. This amount represents approximately a 31% difference.  
  • In the ages 65+ category, the trend of disparities related to race and Bermudian status remained. However, the gross median income of males at $49,598 was higher than that of females at $43,597.
  • In 2019 the median gross annual income for females was $65,398 compared to $60,231 for males. 

The Bermuda 2016 Population and Housing Census Report revealed: 

  • The median income for black women was $61,792 and $82,970 for white women.  
  • The median income of black women with a Bachelor’s degree is $80,372, while white women with a Bachelor’s degree earn $95,753. 

Minister Furbert said, “These disparities paint a picture that is contrary to the spirit of the Human Rights Act 1981, section 6(1)(b) which forbids an employer from paying one employee at a rate of pay that is less than the rate of pay paid to another employee for substantially the same work.” 

“This Government wholeheartedly believes and supports that no person should be paid differently because of their gender, race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.” 

“To all employers in Bermuda, I would like to encourage you and remind you of the importance of making progressive strides to incorporate a sound pay equity framework within your organisation. Equal pay for equal work is fundamental. As we find ourselves striving to move beyond this pandemic and its economic disruption, these disparities are becoming even more crucial to address and resolve.”

Minister Furbert concluded, “Bermuda, the Human Rights Act 1981 and the Human Rights Commission is here to support you. If you have questions or need any more information about this protection, please contact The Human Rights Commission at 295-5859, email: humanrights@gov.bm, or send mail to 32 Victoria St. Hamilton HMCX. ” 

“As we celebrate International Equal Pay Day, we should all remember the importance of this day and do what is necessary to move Bermuda beyond pay disparities.”