The Living Wage and the Minimum Wage in Bermuda
Last year, the Bermudan Parliament tabbed a report on the living wage. The report recommended the creation of a Wage Commission. The report is available on the government website, as is the Citizens Forum, which provides the public with the opportunity to comment on the report. The commission will conduct research, consult with stakeholders, and provide a report to the Minister of Labour. The Commission’s recommendations will include the living wage. In the meantime, the minimum wage will remain at $24 an hour.
Cost of living in Bermuda
The cost of living in Bermuda is high, especially if you are looking for a rental property. Rental prices are very high, and they do not include basic utilities. Location and scenery are the main factors that drive up the price. Fortunately, you can reduce the cost of rental accommodation by getting a housing allowance. Although it is not mandatory, it is recommended. Depending on the type of accommodation you’re looking for, the housing allowance can range from $200 to $1,400 per month.
Healthcare in Bermuda is one of the most expensive in the world, even more so than in the USA. Even a basic medical plan for a family of four costs more than $1500 per month for a couple. This is significantly higher than the National Health Service in the UK, which costs nothing at all for an elderly couple. Also, there is no equivalent of Medicare in Bermuda. Moreover, most of the expenses related to healthcare are not covered by the government.
Employment law in Bermuda
The Employment Act 2000 governs employment in Bermuda. It provides certain protections to employees working or performing services in Bermuda. An employer cannot contract out of the requirements of the Act. Employees can also bring complaints to an inspector of the Labour Relations Department, if they believe they have been unfairly dismissed. The Act is subject to changes, and practitioners are encouraged to stay abreast of new developments in the area. Below are the basic rights of an employee in Bermuda.
Non-solicitation and non-dealing clauses are more strictly enforced. They protect trade connections and prevent companies from poaching key employees. A maximum of six years is the permissible term for an employee. However, certain positions, such as those that are “key” to a business, are exempt from the time limits. These positions may be extended up to three years. Other grounds for a waiver include worldwide shortages of a particular industry, or a hardship in the company.
Medical insurance for non-working spouses
The Bermuda Ministry of Health recently released its first ever plan for a universal health care system, the Bermuda Health Strategy 2022-2027, to improve access to health services for all Bermudians and make healthcare more affordable. The Ministry of Health highlighted a number of challenges with the current health care system, including a lack of affordable health insurance for the uninsured and unequal access to healthcare. In Bermuda, employers must provide health insurance for employees earning over $15 per hour, and this includes the non-working spouse.
In order to obtain medical insurance for non-working spouses, the working spouse must be a resident of Bermuda or be exempt from immigration controls. However, if the non-working spouse is an expat, she or he will have to provide proof that they are a Bermudian and have a work permit. Depending on the circumstances of the non-working spouse, there are other options for health coverage, such as an employer-sponsored medical plan.
Housing allowance for non-working spouses
The cost of house rent in Bermuda is a substantial recurring expense. A single-room apartment can cost two-thousand dollars per month while an upscale ocean facing three-bedroom home can be more than $15,000 per month. If you are a working spouse looking to move to Bermuda, your employer should provide you with a housing allowance. Some employers will cover the full rent, but many will subsidize it up to 20 percent of your salary. Public sector employers should subsidize any rental cost exceeding 25 percent of gross salary.
While there are some limitations, such as working in certain industries, non-Bermudians should consider moving to Bermuda. Non-Bermudians are limited to jobs that require managerial or professional skills, and certain jobs are only open to Bermudians. In addition, non-Bermudians cannot own property in Bermuda without a Bermudian spouse. Getting a job in Bermuda should be a top priority.