News Release HAMILTON, Bermuda Today (January 3, 2023), the Ministry of Economy and Labour released its 2023 End of Year Report, Enhancing Bermuda’s Social and Economic Wellbeing. The Year End Review for 2023 showcases a diverse range of activities and initiatives that were carried out to enhance Bermuda’s social and economic framework. 

Throughout 2023, departments within the Ministry of Economy and Labour continued to ensure that they strengthened social protections for those in need, advanced Bermuda’s economic growth and development initiatives in support of building a sustainable economy, provided support to jobseekers, positioning them to take advantage of opportunities in the workplace; and preserved jobs and implemented laws that support progress in the workplace. 

“While progress is still being made, our economy is moving in a positive direction, and we are confident that this momentum will continue,” said Minister of Economy and Labour, the Hon Jason Hayward, JP, MP. “We remain committed to providing essential safety nets for the most vulnerable, ensuring their ability to sustain themselves, and safeguarding workers’ rights.” 

One of the key initiatives for the Ministry in 2023 was the National Statutory Minimum, Bermuda’s first minimum wage rate, which came into effect on June 1, 2023, with the hourly wage rate set at $16.40. Accompanying this vital piece of legislation was the Statutory Minimum Wage Guidance, which outlines the eligibility criteria for a minimum hourly wage and sets out the enforcement provisions regarding the payment of a minimum hourly wage rate. 

This legislation will ensure persons working in Bermuda receive a decent wage for a full day’s work and that employers’ policies clearly explain the distribution of gratuities and service charges was critical to enacting the following piece of legislation. 

The Ministry also amended the law to establish a framework to ensure the equitable distribution of tips, gratuities, and service charges (“tips and other gratuities”) to employees in the workplaces and industry sectors where it applies. With this law, employers cannot withhold tips or other gratuities from an employee, make a deduction from an employee’s tips or additional gratuities or cause an employee to return or give his tips or other gratuities to the employer unless so required. 

Also, in 2023, the Ministry of Economy and Labour Established the Department of Labour to enforce the Labour Code and minimum wage legislation. The Department published The Employment Act 2000 Guidance document, which informs employees of their rights under the Employment Act 2000. It provides a comprehensive overview of the Employment Act 2000, and problem areas such as layoff, vacation leave entitlement, and severance pay are clearly outlined.

To ensure the continued security of Bermuda, the Ministry of Economy and Labour instituted the Bermuda Immigration and Protection (Prohibition of Entry) (No. 2) Order 2023. This Order applies to a person who is a national of any one of 115 countries (included in the Order) and requires that such persons possess a document permitting them to enter and re-enter Canada, the United States or the United Kingdom. 

Minister Hayward continued, “As we anticipate the emergence of a dynamic new workforce, the government will persist in seeking avenues to assist individuals in need while fostering an environment conducive to thriving businesses.” 

The report can be viewed here : Economy and Labour | Government of Bermuda (www.gov.bm).