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Government lawyer fights liability insurance rule

  • On the other side of the argument: Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A labour dispute between the Attorney-General’s Chambers and a white-collar union has been declared, over liability insurance for government lawyers.

Ed Ball, the general secretary of the Bermuda Public Services Union, said yesterday the dispute revolved around legal liability.

He said: “It’s in response to a lawyer, who is a member, following on instructions and then the matter going against him.

“There is a question of if there is liability insurance for someone who acts on instructions to carry out something.”

Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour and former president of the BPSU, announced the dispute in the Official Gazette on June 19.

Mr Ball said the two sides had not met since the dispute was declared.

But he added: “It’s hoped that we can come together and resolve this without going to the tribunal. “That’s always the first and foremost priority, trying to get a solution that benefits everyone without having to bring in a third party.”

The notice warned: “In accordance with section 19 of the Labour Disputes Act 1992, after the publication of this notice, any lockout strike or irregular industrial action short of a strike is unlawful and any person who takes part in, incites or in any way encourages, persuades or influences any person to take part in, or otherwise acts in furtherance of, a lockout, strike or irregular industrial action short of a strike that is unlawful under this section is guilty of an offence.”

The Ministry of Labour did not respond to a request for comment last night.