An Overview of the Employment Amendment (No. 2) Act 2020 – Part 1: Termination Procedures

On 28 November 2020, the Government of Bermuda introduced a Bill entitled Employment Amendment (No. 2) Act 2020 (the "Bill") which seeks to amend the existing Employment Act 2000 (the "Act"). While it is still to make its way through the legislative journey, and may be amended during that process, it is anticipated to come into force on 1 June 2021.

In a press release, the Ministry of Labour explained that the Bill "seeks to strengthen the rights and obligations of employers and employees in Bermuda's labour force as well as modernise and clarify areas of the existing legislation to ensure it is in line with international best practices". The proposed amendments both elaborate and amend existing provisions and introduce new provisions including the requirement of meal breaks and the provision of anti-bullying and sexual harassment policies.

In a two-part series, we will be providing an overview of the proposed amendments. In this alert, we focus on the proposed amendments to termination procedures (including requirements related to probationary periods). In the second alert we will provide an overview of the amendments and additions to employee entitlements, new obligations on employers and the Bill's miscellaneous provisions.

It should be noted that the Act and the Bill apply only to 'employees' within the meaning of the Act, being employees who work at least 15 hours a week, wholly or mainly in Bermuda, and who do not fall within one of the exceptions e.g. a casual worker or a student employed in their vacation period.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.