Labour Relations FAQ

Who may contact the Labour Relations Office

Any person who seeks advice about employment practices in Bermuda.

Who is an employee?

An employee is:

  • a person who is employed wholly or mainly in Bermuda for remuneration under a contract of employment for 15 hours or more a week and not less than three months in a year; or
  • any other person who performs services in Bermuda for another person for remuneration on terms and conditions that more closely resemble a relationship of an employee than that of an independent contractor.

Who is not an employee?

  • A person who is under the age of 16;
  • A casual worker;
  • A part-time employee;
  • A temporary employee;
  • A student; 
  • A voluntary worker; or
  • An independent contractor.

What complaints can I make under the Employment Act 2000?

Complaints may be filed in reference to conditions of employment, terminations and disciplinary action taken by an employer.

I was out sick -- do I need to provide my employer with a medical certificate?

An employee shall not be entitled to be paid in respect of a period of two or more consecutive days unless, where his employer so requests, the employee provides the employer with a certificate from a registered medical practitioner certifying that the practitioner has examined the employee and determined that he is unable to work due to sickness or injury.

What happens if a public holiday falls on my day off?

Where a public holiday falls on an employee's rest day, the employer shall grant him a holiday with pay on either the day immediately following the public holiday or another day as agreed by the employer and employee.

Who can file a complaint?

  • An employee;
  • A trade union on behalf of an employee;
  • Other representative group on behalf of an employee; or
  • An employee who represents a group of employees having the same or substantially the same complaint.

How do I file a complaint?

A complaint is filed by summarising the nature and pertinent details of the complaint on the Complaint Form. This form must be completed by the complainant or his/her representative, and signed by the complainant. 

Where do I file my complaint?

A complainant should complete a Complaint Form and meet with a Labour Relations Officer (LRO) at the Department of Workforce Development located at 23 Parliament Street, Hamilton.

How long do I have to make a complaint?

A written complaint must be received by the LRO within three months of the alleged violation of the provisions of the Employment Act 2000 (the Act).

Will I be able to present my case to the Employment Tribunal?

If the LRO is unable to effect a settlement and the LRO has reasonable grounds that there has been a violation of the provisions of the Act, the complaint shall be referred to the Employment Tribunal.

How long do I have to be employed before I receive my benefits?

Under the Act, you must be employed for one year before you receive benefits of sick leave, vacation leave and maternity leave.

Employees in my company attempted to become unionised but were unsuccessful. How long do we have to wait before we can try again?

Where an application is rejected another such application shall not be made until a period of 12 months has expired.

How do I know if I work in an essential service?

Workers employed in an essential service shall be given notice by their Employer prior to starting work. 

What is the difference between a Labour Disputes Tribunal and the Employment Tribunal?

The Employment Tribunal is constituted under the Employment Act 2000 and mainly relates to the employment relationships outside of a union environment.

The Labour Disputes Tribunal is constituted by the Minister to settle a specific labour dispute (usually disputes of national importance).