Bermuda’s cabinet has approved the implementation of rules requiring employers to allow their staff to work from home if it is possible for them to do so.
The regulations were formed under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and came into effect on the evening of March 30. The new rules mean persons who can work from home must be allowed to do so, with any employer not allowing this to be considered to be violating the law.
David Burt, Bermuda’s Premier, said the government has created a labor complaint form to simplify the process of reporting offending employers. There is also an employment violations tip-line, which can be found at www.bermudajobboard.bm/evtl.
The move comes as the government is still being “inundated on a daily basis” with complaints from employees who fear losing their jobs for refusing to come into the office, according to Burt. He said the complaints are coming in from people who could easily do their jobs from home.
Meanwhile, Bermuda has confirmed another five cases of COVID-19, having received an additional six COVID-19 test results on March 31. It means Bermuda now has 32 confirmed cases of the virus.
Of the five new cases, two arrived in Bermuda on the British Airways flight BA2233 on March 18, while another arrived on American Airlines flight AA308 on March 14.
As of March 31 there were nine cases of local transmission. There is no evidence of community transmission, because all cases have either been traced to contact with a known case, or are still under investigation.
Burt also reported that Bermuda’s curfew has been extended for a further three days and will now run to April 3, with people required to stay at home between 8pm and 6am the following day.
He said mini buses will be invited to bid to provide bus replacement services to transport key workers, such as medical professionals, with public transport workers refusing to work. He said he was “extremely disappointed” that bus drivers are refusing to work, and said they would not be paid for the time they did not work, with the money used to fund the minibus service.
Burt also noted that Hamilton docks are starting to get congested, and called on local importers to pick up their containers from the docks as soon as possible, to create space for new deliveries of food, medicine, and other supplies.
Brt also reported that a shelter has been created for vulnerable Bermudians at The Barclay Institute gymnasium. The shelter opens at 6:30pm and provides a hot meal, and a place to sleep for those who are otherwise without shelter.
David Burt, COVID-19, Occupational Safety and Health Act