Co-authors: Kiernan Bell, Michael Hanson (Appleby)
A Supreme Court decision handed down on Monday is a stark
reminder that employers should tread very carefully when promoting
employees. In particular, when considering employees for promotions
(or any other internal projects or opportunities) an employer must
treat all applicants equally and not prefer one applicant over
another on the basis of their national origin.
The case concerned a police officer who had been employed by the
Bermuda Police Service (BPS) under a five year work permit as an
Authorised Firearms Officer. In July 2009, the BPS Promotions Board
formally recommended the Employee for promotion however he was
later informed that he could not be considered for the same unless
and until his work permit was renewed.
In response, the Officer requested that his work permit be
renewed and further filed a grievance with the BPS Human Resources
Department for discriminatory treatment in contravention of the
Human Rights Act 1981 (Act). The BPS Commissioner invited the
Employee to withdraw his complaint and, following the officer's
refusal to do so, demoted him from his post and further failed to
renew his employment contract.
The Employee's case was that the BPS' promotion policy
was applied to him in an unfavourable way, which would not have
occurred if he was Bermudian.
The Supreme Court (on appeal) agreed with the Employee, and
found that Section 6(9) of the Act only permits employers to give
preference to Bermudians in the hiring process. The Act stipulates
that outside of the hiring process Bermudians and non-Bermudians
must all be treated equally.
This initial discriminatory treatment was aggravated by a
deliberate decision not to renew the officer's contract in
retaliation for him making and refusing to withdraw his complaint
in respect of that treatment. Notably this was not in respect of
any desire to prefer a Bermudian for his position.
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As the name implies, end of service gratuity is an amount of money that every employee is entitled to receive, and every employer is liable to pay, upon termination of an employment relationship in the UAE, provided that the employee meets the conditions set out in the Labour Law (UAE Federal Law No.8 of 1980).
Guernsey is a separate legal jurisdiction from the UK. It has its own employment laws and, due to its size, controls are in place regulating who can live and work in the Island.
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