If you have an employment problem you should first follow your internal grievance procedures. If that internal grievance procedure does not resolve the problem then you should file a complaint with the Labour Commissioner within six (6) months when the problem arose. To make your complaint you can follow the steps outlined on the Department of Labour and Workforce Development’s page at https://bvi.gov.vg/services/dispute-claim.
If within 30 days (approx. 1 month) the Labour Commissioner is unable to resolve the complaint by mediation or conciliation, the matter must be transmitted to the Minister for settlement. If within 21 days (3 weeks) after the Minister receives the complaint from the Labour Commissioner and is also unable to resolve the dispute the matter must be referred to the Tribunal for settlement. The Tribunal is the final step in the dispute resolution process, except it is possible to appeal to the High Court only on points of law.
There are only two (2) situations where you can make an application directly to the Tribunal without going through the normal complaint process, namely:
- If you are a non-established worker within the public service and you have a complaint against the Crown as your employer for which there is a breach that would result in criminal proceedings, but because no criminal proceedings would be commenced against the Crown, an application to the Tribunal can be led; or
- If you have been dealing with the Department of Labour and Workforce Development and you are dissatised with any exercise of any power and have written to the Labour Commissioner, but you are aggrieved by the Labour Commissioner’s decision, then you can apply directly to the Tribunal to review the Labour Commissioner’s decision.
Once the complaint is delivered to the Tribunal, the Secretary to the Tribunal will issue a Notice to all the parties setting down a date for the Case Management Hearing and outlining the timeline that both parties will be required to follow leading up to the Case Management Hearing.