BVI News

Wheatley issues warning after group of locals made redundant


Employers in the BVI are being warned against selecting employees for redundancy based on the fact that they (the workers) are locals.

Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley gave this warning against the backdrop of reports that an unspecified group of BVIslanders and Belongers were recently made redundant by a company that may be on the verge of merging with another.

Speaking in the House of Assembly on Thursday, Wheatley said the method of selecting employees for redundancy must be transparent and fair. As an example, he said persons may be selected for redundancy as a result of a previous disciplinary record, length of service, or any other unbiased criteria.

“The unbiased criteria should not be that the employees are Virgin Islanders or Belongers as such actions may render the redundancies to be considered unfair dismissal. Additionally, it is unlawful to terminate the employment of a suitably qualified BVIslander or Belonger in favour of an expatriate employee,” the minister stated.

Employers must inform Labour of redundancies

Minister Wheatley further advised that employers are required to inform the Labour Commissioner of any redundancies at least one month before the termination; especially in situations where three or more employees are being terminated.

He said the aforementioned company in process of merging has not given the Labour Department any official notice of redundancies to date.

However, he said his ministry will be monitoring that company closely going forward.

“I want all organisation, especially the one that I referenced, to take note that if it becomes necessary within six months following the termination process for that organisation to hire employees to perform the same duties from which the employers were removed, that the employer is obligated to give first preference and rehire the redundant employees,” Wheatley stated.

He also reminded employers that workers who have been employed at an organisation for 12 months or more are entitled to severance pay if they are made redundant.

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  1. SMH says:

    Sick of the word play. Standing and shouting in HOA doesn’t make life any better for locals or other residents. Work on a proper, meaningful education and jobs program to give people a real chance at proper career paths and eventually, owning their own business. This lip service does more harm than good. Imagine Ministers standing up and calling down businesses based on hearsay, where’s the professionalism. They say the economy is in overdrive, where?

    Like 51
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    • one mart says:

      Ask mark if its ok to have another national as his HR. Government employers are the worse.

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    • People invest in themselves says:

      @SMH people need to be more responsible. It had tons of job training and financial assistance classes for free this year and last year. A very small percentage attend and ain’t of the people who had actually needed the class. You’ll want Government hand feed you’ll everything. I’m sick of people who’s not helping themselves: some of you’ll attitude are the reasons why!!

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  2. thank you says:

    Mr Wheatley you haven’t said anything wrong. these are all written in the labour code. but because these companies are accustomed to ge away with there unlawful behavior some people now thinks you are against expatriate workers. the bvi landers and belongers come first.also Mr Minister take a look at the Asian population in the bvi.they are the fastest growing. they are growing much faster than any other race of people that ever grace the shores of the bvi in such short space of time. this is not good for any country especially the size of the bvi.

    Like 21
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    • @Thank you says:

      You obviously never owned or ran a business so keep defending nonsense and wonder why the place is going backwards. Minister Wheatley has been frothing at the mouth since elected 2 years ago, name one BVIslander that has benefited as a result?

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    • Liston says:

      @thank you
      You are a racist

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      • Longlook says:

        If you think such a bad thing. It would be helpful to say why you think that. I think you are an otter but that doesn’t make it true.

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    • @thank you says:

      Speak it.
      You are right the *** are destroying BVI workforce. Look at the car company picture when they advertise all workers vaccinated PURE *** no locals.
      Look at sugarworks museum, who you think cutting them sugarcane. Who up paraquita bay growing and selling on government land. Who advertising our jobs to one another ***.
      They are rude, lazy, and racist just watch Majority of them when you see them working don’t mind the play busy body when they first come,don’t talk about how some of them looking local man,married or not with money. They scam their way into BVI and labor and immigration doing not one thing about it. WAKE UP IMMIGRATION. MINISTER STOP TALKING FROTH AND LISTEN AND TELL LABOR AND IMMIGRATION TO SEND THEM HOME WHEN THEY SCAM SWITCHING AFTER LANDING. Oh but them married to the law and running employment agency. Them switching jobs like crazy after using and scamming locals to enter BVI. What people don’t know is they operate on a class system. Watch them, office *** don’t talk to field ***. They live secret lives, spouses in *** and living with who you think is them spouse here. They are amazed that dirty black people have what they have in BVI that right they consider themselves more white than black! BVI better open eyes from 100 of them in 2010 to over 500 today and growing.

      Like 5
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    • @thank you says:

      You were going relatively well until you started the racist rhetoric.

      Also I do think that BVIslanders and belongers should be given first preference for jobs where they are qualified to have them. That is the caveat that people who blindly say BVIslanders should get this or that….have they earned it? Did they do the work before and are they doing the work after? Where is our responsibility to ensure that first preference is given to us? It should be done because the labor code said so? because the minister said so?

      A man can play the fool with his looks and charm for 5 minutes but on the 6th minute, he had better have some substance or he is done.

      Is that what we are promoting, lack of substance? lack of work ethics? lack of accountability and lack of responsibility?

      We are promoting entitlement?

      come onnnnn, give jack his jacket when he has earned it, not because he thinks he should have it for a singular arbitrary reason such as “I was born here”

  3. Nope says:

    Sorry buddy, business happens…

    Can’t run a business with a bloated workforce already encumbered with individuals who do not strive for excellence in customer service. That works for government employees only…

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  4. Wheatley says:

    Wheatley your bulls**t rules just keep new businesses from opening and old businesses to close. Investors outside the Territory run away and thus you maintain the third world status. The problem is and you all know it, is that the Belonger is useless and a poor worker but you force businesses to hire them. It should be hire the brightest and the best.

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    • @Wheatley says:

      All Belongers are NOT lazy, do nothings! There are MANY Belongers that are in management positions and own their own businesses. With that said, it’s indeed sad that too many locals fall in the category of feeling entitled and running to labour every time they’re challenged or called out on their behavior. As it relates to Hon. Wheatley, the good thing is that we only have a year and months of them, or even less depending on the COI so most people are just awaiting their departure.

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      • @@Wheatley says:

        Yes the “locals” run to labour but these locals aren’t really locals just happened to have their parents move here long time ago. Most BVIslanders are very hard working own multiple busineeses or hold down multiple jobs on the outer islands,now Tortola they are a bunch of lazy entitiled you know whats!

    • Really says:

      You can take your bright and best behind out of here. I am a BVUslander born and raised and I give my 110 percent, my best everyday. Because we calmly go about our business and don’t have to brag and compete and announce our prowess we are useless? Well there are useless in every society. And you are a little bit more than that to come on here and blog this ugly generalization that expats love to spit at us. There are lots of people migrating here that does not have even a high school certificate, but they are here and will beat BVIslanders out of jobs. Why? They suck up and cry and beg and will take anything to work. This is probably the only country in the Caribbean where persons can beat up on the locals and get away with it. I keep saying, if you are unhappy living among us, you can leave because I can guarantee you, you go home and there won’t be one BVIslander/Belonger in your face stressing you. You can search your island from one corner to the next and we won’t be there. We’ll be right here because we like home. So you are here, be nice. God’s blessing to you and yours.

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      • Liston says:

        @ really
        Maybe your 110% is not good enough. Just because you “strain” yourself doesn’t mean you are doing a good job

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        • Youth says:

          Anyone who thinks it’s possible to give 110% of something finite shouldn’t be employed, no matter where they were born.

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        • @Liston says:

          At least I strain myself working and not kissing butt. Most of you have positions because you carry news on others. I am home, whether I am dumb and strained or I am particular and meticulous in my work so I go the extra mile has not a thing to do with you. And @Youth, I give my very best. Whether I should be employed or not is not for you. I am home. This is exactly the reason why some people are not liked. Humble yourselves man. We don’t need to blow or own horns to feel important. We don’t have to call down every expat on the job to feel important like some expats like to do to locals. We don’t have to do a duggone thing other than go to work, work and then go home. We are not competing with anyone, but making a living and then spending the money that we earn to live. We don’t save all of it and then beg and bawl. Please, I am someone who hates this blogging and back and forth, but I am so tired of this mess. I don’t know why BVIslanders are hated in their own country by others who visit our shores. As I said, there are options: Go back home, Go to America, Go to Canada, Go to another Caribbean Island, Go to the UK or just stay and be nice. And leave BVIslanders the hell alone, if we had a problem with persons visiting our shores you would not be here. How can you go to another man’s land and be mean as hell? Shucks man. As I said, if you go home, no BVIslanders there. Food for thought. You don’t like BVIslanders, but you like the quality of life and the big bank accounts that you will not achieve at home. So why not practice being kind? BVIIslanders don’t do a thing to get in your faces everyday, back the hell up. Leave us alone.

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      • @really says:

        Tell um
        They don’t even know who are the real bvislander.
        People with papers give us a bad name.
        Anybody notice interviews in BVI versus sv? Every sv is a local. After Irma not one native was interviewed or featured.

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    • Biz says:

      I employ both and there is in truth no difference between belongers and non belongers in job performance. It’s all down the person, their talents and their attitude.

      Like 32
      • @biz says:

        Thank you very much for your honesty. I’ve been saying it all along. This classing of BVIslanders are lazy, etc and the expatriate workforce is “God sent” I remain has always been a lie! Performance is based on exactly what you said.. the individual, their talent, attitude and willingness to work. Just how BVIslanders are labeled as lazy, I have been to business places watching expatriates do likewise. Time to stop the stereotyping, it’s sickening!

  5. funny says:

    ask Vanterpool its his business , you work in the same building pmsl

    Like 11
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  6. WEW says:

    Lounge under a tree, smoke my pot. Collect my pay. Redundant but I born here.

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  7. critic says:

    We should be complaining to him and not he complaining to us…wow!

  8. smoke and mirrors says:

    and when yo look he is going to approve new permits for the same company

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  9. VG massive says:

    We are wondering how soon is he gonna tackle the oil nut bay vaccination saga?

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  10. LILIS says:


  11. Redundant says:

    Take the word out of the labour code all together. Companies just look at the word and say QUICKFIX.

  12. vg resident says:

    Sounds like company 1 is being bought out by company 2. All companies when they buy another company will reduce workers for more efficiency. They should be allowed to layoff whoever they want. I am sure they are laying off the workers that are getting the most pay. Thanks life!

    Like 10
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  13. Quiet Warrior says:

    This dude is squealing thunder and flashing lightning but no rain. Weak as a wet noodle. The weakness is emboldening countries to take these actions for they know a little noise will be raised but there will be no consequences. Old Father, get ready, for you are on deck.

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  14. Hmmm says:

    Didn’t your government make Cindy redundant? Your own people. It is okay for you to do it though!

    Like 9
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    • Yawn says:

      That person hated her employers and was unintentionally giving the BVI bad publicity. How can you work tourist board that promotes tourism but on your private time making comments publicly that the government is anywhere from liars to criminals.

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  15. Wtf? says:

    When is the next election? Jesus man.

    Like 11
  16. What a ting! says:

    Human nature- expatriate, indigenous what ever the status would always be the same . We live in a cosmopolitan society so stop pointing fingers . When individuals do wrong, or a business place do wrong , people get involved in illegal activities STOP lumping people under category. This is eating away at the fabric of the society . It is inflaming hate and ill will in the people of a small country that has to exist and work side by side with each other everyday . We are creating an unhealthy society

  17. ReX FeRaL says:

    Vincent you need to hire a competent consultant to help you. You cannot micro manage your portfolio. The Hill man right there🤷‍♂️

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