BVI News

Harneys lays off a number of its BVI staff members

Global offshore law firm Harneys has reportedly laid-off an undisclosed number of staff members from its BVI offices; reportedly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Labour Vincent Wheatley gave that confirmation in a recent interview with BVI News.

“I haven’t seen the report [yet but] yes, that is a fact. I can’t give you the numbers or anything like that, or who they were. But I spoke with them on the phone and they say they were doing a restructuring … I heard that they’re laying off,” Minister Wheatley told our news centre.

BVI News then reached out to the financial services provider with questions about the number of persons that have been impacted by the staff cuts.

Harneys BVI did not give a direct answer to any of those questions. It indicated in a blanket statement to our news centre that the firm does not comment on employment matters for confidentiality reasons.

The company, however, confirmed that they were taking measures to safeguard the local firm.

“Like the majority of organisations across the globe, Harneys has been affected by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we have implemented several measures to ensure economic resilience,” the statement read.

Harneys is among the companies that is currently benefiting from government’s Financial Services (Exceptional Circumstances) Order that has created ‘special measures’ to temporarily facilitate the conduct of financial services business in and from within the territory. That order came into effect on March 30 this year.

As the Minister of Finance, Premier Andrew Fahie has declared the COVID-19 pandemic to be ‘an exceptional circumstance’.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

39 Comments

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  1. vip heckler says:

    It just start. This will continue to happen because the VIP had no plans to begin with. They will kill this economy the way they are doing things right now

    Like 25
    Dislike 68
    • SMH says:

      I guess it’s VIP that created the Virus. Some people need to think before they speak,utter nonsense.

      Like 84
      Dislike 6
    • Earl says:

      It may turn out to be that the Harneys employee returning back from UK with the virus, was the one that brought his own house down !

      Like 32
      Dislike 3
    • More to come says:

      The financial services was in a decline already. Now with the pandemic this will become worse. Offshore accounts are being depleted and no new ones are being established. The pandemic is hastening what was coming for the financial sector. Now with the tourism sector shut down and the governments closure to visitors until at least September the Territory will fall into incredible dire straights. The leadership needs to rethink their agenda for the coming months

      Like 39
      Dislike 2
      • @More to Come says:

        The global economy affects the BVI economy. If the globe doing bad, BVI will feel it’s effects for sure.

        For financial services, most (at least 80%) of the business comes from Asia. Study what is happening in that region and you will know the effects on BVI.

        A lot of wealthy people now rethinking things.

        There will come the possibility for no need for offshore companies.

        Like 18
        Dislike 3
    • SMDH says:

      Lord you stupid. Tell your mom do us all a favor and next time just swallow…….

      Like 5
      Dislike 17
  2. butty says:

    all vinc got for his giving stuff like santa claus

  3. lies says:

    he fully bloody well knew

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  4. That’s their MO says:

    That’s a norm for them during any crisis here. Quickest cost cutting measure is to lay off staff. They did the same after Irma.

    Like 62
    Dislike 3
    • Agreed says:

      I agree that’s their MO. They also use times like these to make cuts their otherwise wanted to make even before the crisis. It’s shameful. It’s so hard during this circumstance for people to find new jobs. I hope the best for them. I heard it’s about 10 -12 people.

      Like 49
      Dislike 1
  5. Hmmmmmm says:

    America doing it toooooo …

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  6. lol says:

    It is 11 staff that they let go so far, and apparently they have hired some people from away.

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  7. Never and Ive said it... says:

    One thing I know is that I will never work for Harneys. They kick you out when you are at your lowest. Youll always talk about local law firm. Tell me of another firm that did this during Irma or even now. I think it would have been easier if they had said lets cut your salary in half until we see where we are going. Harneys is the worse firm in the BVI to work for yes Ive said it. They have absolutely no respect for their staff.

    Like 30
    Dislike 3
    • Monkey See, Monkey Do says:

      Ain only Harney’s lay off after irma. Some of the other trust companies did as well. They love following in Harney’s footsteps.

  8. I wonder says:

    I still wonder Why BVI-news blocks comment to some of its articles. Looks like the press isn’t a fan of freedom of speech or opinion.

    Meanwhile, I have little to say about the layoffs, many must have sensed it was about to happen.

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
  9. Pazea says:

    It has been done in a very inhumae manner. No soft landing,cutting off cell phones during a lockdown etc..What kind of person cuts off communication access during a national crisis??? The day of reckoning will come for the locals that knowingly participated in the process and kept smiling like snakes to their loyal worker’s faces.. God dont like ugly..

    Like 37
    Dislike 4
    • Hmm says:

      They did it with Irma at a more extreme level and yes they use local managers and head of departments to strike the final blow but time will tell that JAMDOWN turn will come

      Like 32
      Dislike 4
  10. true says:

    then step upend ensure the labour code is being followed BVIslanders are the last people to be terminated don’t accept restructuring its BS.

    Like 22
    Dislike 2
  11. Veron says:

    Harneys is known for acts such as this. It is a great place to work until rough times hit– then it is all about their bottom line. That probably makes it a terrible place to work in some respects.

    Like 40
    Dislike 3
  12. Question for the minister says:

    The question for Mr Wheatley is whether locals with comparable skills with persons on work permits were let go instead of the expat worker. This isn’t the time to be polite.

    Like 32
    Dislike 4
  13. nasty company says:

    they are very nasty for doing this at this time. they did it after Irma too.

    Like 28
    Dislike 3
  14. Jk says:

    @I wonder… they don’t like when you talking the facts and the truth. It hurts them…

    Like 19
  15. Smell a Rat says:

    Haney is using this pandemic as an excuse to layoff its employees. All the partners and the lawyers of this firm can afford to take a pay cut from their salary for just one month and pay these employees rather than letting them go. They send home most of the BVIslanders and keep the expats. Check to see if their office in Bahamas or Bermuda let go their staff as well. These partners and lawyers making millions of dollars this is sad.

    Like 37
    Dislike 5
    • @Harney's says:

      I tried checking their office in Bermuda as you suggested, but it seems they have closed in Bermuda.

    • Haha says:

      BVI reaps what it sows.
      Many of its workforce would never have jobs anywhere other than the BVI.
      This is NOT a one month crisis. You have no idea the flow on effect Covid will have and if Western countries are driven into poverty your country is over. Governments will ban the offshore industry entirely as they look for more taxes. You’re the problem not the solution.

  16. History says:

    Or has the firm always over employed because it had to here to do its real core business and now, like every business on the planet, it has to make tough cost cutting with uncertainty and expected dive in revenue?

    Like 8
    Dislike 13
    • BobbySands says:

      Nope. Layoffs globally at Harneys, not just BVI.

      They are just quick (too quick) and equity partners’ pockets are very deep but their arms are very short.

      There have been a number of instances and peculiar actions when their morals have been questioned since Irma.

      Like 21
      Dislike 3
    • Economics says:

      When they expand they increase employees and when they contract they decrease.

      If you going to work there then make sure you are qualified like the expats so you wouldn’t get laid off. I wouldn’t take the chance of working there if I was not qualified or on a comparable level as expats. Then if they have to lay off, the expats must be first in line.

      Like 14
      Dislike 3
  17. GTFOH says:

    They bring one case of the corona with no lime into the territory but instead of being thankful and say cheers to life they gone bottoms up with all them layoffs. All dirty dogs will catch fleas.

    Like 27
    Dislike 2
  18. vip heckler says:

    Calling the VIP atlarge SHEEP to the stage……………..Not the stage that makes big money, oh i forgot we wont be needing it this august

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  19. Anonymous says:

    How you know dem all qualified? Knowing dem ways, dat is doubtful. Yah know how dey does cater to their own regardless.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  20. Jane says:

    I am surprised that the partners didnt take a pay cut as many firms have done so that they didnt abandon their people in their time of need. After the redundancies post-Irma you would have hoped they could do better.

  21. Scumbags says:

    Horrible lot at the top.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  22. @Harney's says:

    To be honest, I thought it’s apartheid style approach to pay was bad enough, but I guess there’s no low they can go to which is too low.

    Like 7
    Dislike 4

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