Recruiting of Workers Act

Published: 1940-10-01

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Recruiting of Workers Act

[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS





1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Application of Act.
4. Persons who recruit to be licensed.
5. Non-adults not to be recruited.
6. Examination of workers.
7. Expenses of workers.
8. Return of workers to their homes.
9. Offences.
10. Power to make regulations.


[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS


An Act to regulate the recruitment of workers.

[Assent 27th February, 1939]
[Commencement 1st October, 1940]

1. This Act may be cited as the Recruiting of
Workers Act.

2. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise
requires —

“Convention” means the Convention concerning the
regulation of certain Special Systems of Recruit-
ing Workers adopted by the International Labour
Conference in June, 1936;

“licensing officer” means a person appointed by the
Governor-General acting in accordance with the
advice of the Public Service Commission, to be
a licensing officer for the purposes of this Act;

“licensee” means the holder of a licence under this

“magistrate” means a stipendiary and circuit magis-
trate or a commissioner;

“Minister” means the Minister responsible for

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made
under this Act;

“worker” means a person who is intended to be
employed in manual work of any kind,
including the work of stevedore.

(2) A person recruits within the meaning of this Act
who by himself or through others procures, engages, hires
or supplies or undertakes or attempts to procure, engage,
hire or supply workers for the purpose of being employed
by himself or by any other person, so long as such worker
does not spontaneously offer his services at the place of
employment or at a public emigration or employment
office or at an office conducted by an employers’
organisation and supervised by the Government.

28 of 1939
E.L.A.O., 1974
5 of 1987

Short title.


E.L.A.O., 1974.

E.L.A.O., 1974.


STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

3. The provisions of this Act shall apply to —
(a) the recruitment of workers for employment

outside The Bahamas; and
(b) the recruitment of personal or domestic servants

or non-manual workers for work outside The
Bahamas if such recruiting is done by profes-
sional recruiting agents.

4. (1) No person shall recruit workers unless he is
licensed in that behalf under the provisions of this Act.

(2) Every person desirous of obtaining a licence
under this section shall apply to a licensing officer who
may in his discretion issue a licence —

(a) if he is satisfied that the applicant is a fit and
proper person to be granted a licence;

(b) if the prescribed security has been furnished; and
(c) if he is satisfied that adequate provision has been

made for safeguarding the health and welfare of
the workers to be recruited.

(3) A licence shall be subject to such conditions as
shall be prescribed, and shall not be transferable.

(4) No licence shall be issued for a period exceeding
one year, but it may be renewed if a licensing officer is
satisfied that the conditions on which it was granted have
been complied with.

(5) A licensing officer may cancel any licence in
any case where the licensee has been convicted of an
offence under this Act or the regulations made thereunder
or has not complied with the conditions under which it.
was granted or is guilty of conduct which in the opinion of
the licensing officer renders him no longer a fit and proper
person to hold a licence: and a licensing officer may
suspend any licence pending the decision of the court or
the making of any inquiry which he shall consider

(6) Any person aggrieved by any decision of the
licensing officer under this section may appeal to the

5. Persons under the age of eighteen shall not be

Application of

Persons who
recruit to be

Non-adults not
to be recruited.


[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

6. (1) Recruited workers shall —
(a) be brought before a magistrate; and
(b) be medically examined in accordance with

regulations made under this Act.
(2) The magistrate before whom any recruited

worker is brought shall satisfy himself that the provisions
of this Act and the regulations made thereunder have been
observed and that the worker has not been subjected to
pressure or recruited by misrepresentation or mistake.

7. The expenses of the journey of recruited workers
(and their families if authorised by agreement to accom-
pany them) to the place of employment, including all
expenses incurred for their protection during the journey,
shall be borne, and necessaries for the journey shall be
provided by the recruiter or employer in accordance with
regulations under this Act.

8. A recruited worker who —
(a) becomes incapacitated by sickness or accident

during the journey to his place of employment;
(b) is found on medical examination to be unfit for

(c) is not engaged after being recruited for a reason

for which he is not responsible; or
(d) is found by a magistrate to have been recruited

by pressure or by misrepresentation or mistake,
and the family (if authorised by agreement to accompany
him) of such recruited worker, and the family (if authorised
by agreement to accompany him) of a recruited worker
who dies during the journey to the place of employment,
shall be returned to their homes at the expense of the
recruiter or employer in accordance with regulations made
under this Act.

9. Any person who acts in contravention of or fails
to comply with any of the provisions of this Act, or the
regulations made thereunder, shall be guilty of an offence
and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of four
hundred dollars or to imprisonment for twelve months or to
both such fine and imprisonment.

10. The Minister may make regulations not incon-
sistent with this Act for the purpose of giving effect
thereto, or to any of the provisions of the Convention; and

Examination of

Expenses of

Return of
workers to their


5 of 1987, s. 2.

Power to make
E.L.A.O., 1974.


STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power
he may by regulation provide for —

(a) the manner and form in which application shall
be made for licences, the particulars to be
furnished upon every such application, the
conditions under which any licence may be
issued, the form of licences, the fees payable
therefor, and the particulars to be set forth

(b) the security to be furnished by applicants for

(c) the records to be kept by licensees;
(d) the restriction of recruiting to certain areas;
(e) the form of written contract to be entered into

between the recruited worker and the licensee;
(f) the provision of transport for recruited workers

and their families from the place of recruitment
to the place of employment;

(g) the amount of wages which may be paid in
advance to recruited workers, and the conditions
under which advances of wages may be made;

(h) anything which by this Act is to be prescribed,
or as to which regulations are to be made.

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