Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Bahamas: Employer Obligations During COVID-19

On Wednesday, 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) declared the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) a pandemic. In making its determination to declare covid-19 a pandemic, the WHO has cited the wide spread of Covid-19 (more than 10-fold in worldwide cases outside China) and the tripling in the number of covid-19 affected countries in recent times. Although, this is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus, the WHO highlights that this is also the first pandemic that can be controlled and one that requires a whole-of-society approach to prevent infections, save lives and minimize impact. Key among measures being promoted to assist the prevention of the further spread of covid-19, is the adherence to social distancing. Inevitably, the means by which employers may wish to implement social distancing in the work place and reduce exposure to covid-19 (e.g. reducing hours, revocation/imposition of approved vacation, laying off personnel, closing stores/businesses outright, etc.) have legal implications under Bahamian law. This bulletin is geared towards addressing the same and providing guidance to employers as to their obligations during this current global pandemic.

Duties of Employers