Bermuda’s lawmakers are set to debate new laws prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of mental health in housing, employment and the provision of goods and services.
The Human Rights Amendment (No.2) Act 2016 was tabled in March and will be among a handful of measures debated later today.
New Social Development Minister Sylvan Richards will introduce the proposal to outlaw mental health discrimination by expanding the Act’s definition of a disabled person to include persons with a long term mental impairment.
It is already against the law to discriminate against people with physical disabilities.
Employers would be required to accommodate employees with mental illnesses unless such accommodation creates an unreasonable hardship on the business or jeopardises the safety of other employees.
The law would also be subject to other measures already in place that impact on people with mental health challenges.
Government is also proposing to expand the range of prohibited publications – currently limited to racial material and racial incitement – to include all the prohibited grounds of discrimination.
Also on the agenda today are a package of proposed concessions for the Tuckers Point luxury resort, and housekeeping measures to clarify Bermuda’s tax information exchange regime.
The Tucker’s Point Concessions are unlikely to meet with any resistance from the Opposition Progressive Labour Party.
The Hotel Concessions Act concept was created by our first Minister of Tourism the Late David Allen in 2000 to drive not only investment but the expansion of training and job opportunities for Bermudian workers and entertainers
Tucker’s Point when opened in 2009 under then Premier and Tourism Minister Ewart Brown was the first Luxury hotel to open in Bermuda in 37 years.
We understand the need to stimulate our economy and enhance our tourism product and so while we have a few concerns that we will raise during the debate, barring unforeseen circumstances we will likely support the bill – Shadow Tourism Minister Jamahl Simmons
Former Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell is to make his debut as a backbencher today. He resigned from the Cabinet in March.
Also making her debut in a new role is Nandi Outerbridge who has been promoted to House Whip for the governing party.
Follow our live coverage of the proceedings below.
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