Work permit job ads now mandated via WORC

| 23/04/2020 | 102 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Alden McLaughlin in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday

(CNS): The premier has presented to the Legislative Assembly the long-awaited change to the work permit system to make it mandatory to post all job vacancies on JobsCayman, the internal portal for Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC), if an employer is seeking a work permit. Lawmakers on both sides hope that this change, one of a number of amendments to immigration legislation brought by Premier Alden McLaughlin on Thursday, will result in Caymanian job-seekers being prioritised.

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the anticipated massive increase in local unemployment, government has accelerated the online services surrounding work permit applications. Making the WORC portal the central clearing house means that all applications by local workers for jobs will be documented and tracked. Employers will have to contact unsuccessful applicants and explain why they have not been given the post.

This was always intended to be a key part of the enforcement process and the goal to improve the system by making it fair and more transparent. However, the current health crisis and the need to work online, given the shelter-in-place orders has pushed things forward. The lack of printed newspapers at present also makes the previously mandated adverts in print much more difficult.

As a result, the previous legal requirement to run two job advertisements in a printed newspaper has been dropped. Instead, employers will need to post their jobs on the portal for 14 days. From there agents at WORC will ensure that suitable locals looking for employment get an opportunity to apply and have that application acknowledged. Job-seekers can also make an application on their own merit through the portal and have that process tracked by WORC.

As MLAs welcomed the changes, Austin Harris (PRO) noted that it replaced the previous honour system, where employers just told the relevant boards that there were no local applicants or they were not suitable but did not have to demonstrate how they had addressed the applications when they applied for work permits.

Now they will have to show what happened with local applicants and give transparent explanations about why they rejected them before they are granted a work permit. This process will also apply to renewals, which is particularly relevant right now during the curfew since new applications are on hold due to the borders being closed.

During the debate, Opposition Leader Arden McLean said that the most important thing was for government to ensure that the changes are enforced. He said there could be “no more excuses” from employers and that going forward after this pandemic, Cayman had a chance to do things differently.

McLean said that overseas workers would always play an important part here but “Caymanians have to come first”. He urged government to make enough provision to ensure that local people got the work available, as this was a time when Caymanians “needed their jobs.” Local people had to emerge from this pandemic better than before, the opposition leader said, as he called for a paradigm shift and to re-write the future for local people.

As the premier explained and outlined other elements of the bill, he highlighted the shift to an online focus for WORC. He also noted that the law made provision to waive the requirement for certain documents, which are difficult to get at present, to allow people to apply for work permit renewals.

He said that people could make permanent residency applications online without all the necessary documents, which could be submitted at a later date, and noted that fees can now be paid online via electronic transfer.

McLaughlin said other amendments to the legislation had been made to address the situation relating to the shelter-in-place orders related to COVID-19. As he wrapped up the debate, the premier said he believed that the public understood what government was trying to so with the amendments.

He said that the health crisis had seen WORC shift the services online quicker than anticipated, and while there may be some technical glitches along the way, the overall goal was to improve the service for both local job seekers and employers seeking work permits.

See Thursday morning’s proceedings in the LA on CIGTV below:


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Category: Jobs, Laws, Local News, Politics

Comments (102)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is becoming a police state and anyone that can’t hear the drum beating in the assembly are fools. Take a moment and look at all the WORC, CBC and pandemic related changes and they are all about control. I would go so far as to say that the MLAs don’t even see what they are doing. Their is NO improvement to the educational system, none worth a word, but HUGE improvement to other systems. If a nation wants to invest in its future it should be investing in its children, so they may consciously care for its elderly.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    what a waste of time the island will be broken for years ..may never recover ..bankrupt just not telling ya ..

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  3. Anonymous says:

    This is all well and good but I can tell you the large companies especially, will always find a way around the system. At one point I gathered evidence that one large law firm and another major employer had adverts in the UK at least six months before it was advertised on their website and locally in the papers. I eventually gave up and didn’t bother to report it as I couldn’t see how we would be able to hold them accountable.
    All the partners int eh law firms who hire their “lil” girlfriends and turn away Caymanians will now have provide evidence why their unqualified expatriates can do the job better than those locally.
    Before you decide if what I am saying is true just think about your place of work and tell me if you do not wonder how some people ended up getting a work permit.
    Make no mistake about it Cayman is paradise as much as many would want to let us feel that it isn’t.

    Nothing is wrong with prioritizing qualified Caymanians who are willing and able to work.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That is true. Not just law firms. I’ve seen a bartender taking a professional position in Big4. Unfortunately or fortunately this is the way things are. And will be.

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      • Pancho Bartender says:

        How about if that bartender was attending university while working and applied for the job after obtaining a professional degree? Did you audit his or her qualifications? There are plenty of people who work and attend university part time. There are even online programs offered by recognized universities. Stop stirring up crap to rev people up.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    won’t change anything.
    expats will still be brought in to do the jobs caymanians won’t
    some caymanians will succeed due to hard work and their 3rd level education
    most caymains will be rejected due to poor work ethic and poor education
    civil service will keep expanding and accept all caymanians.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I hope Caymanians will remember that it was the PPM Party that designed and presided over this broken roll-over system since inception. It’s broken because they liked it broken, so they could serve as the casting die. Employers were simply trusted when they said they’d looked around for qualified Caymanians.

    While we’re on the subject, there should be fluid updated public web portals for all kinds of department information disclosures, yet many department websites haven’t been updated in a decade or more.

    Meanwhile, the CIG pays department heads with full-time career web media subordinates to update these pages – how are they not all fired by now?

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Your still going to have to bring in thousands of expats to work because locals aren’t going to WANT to fill those menial jobs that are out there. You’ll see.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How about the adverts start matching the facts?. Caymanians keep getting told that waitstaff earn $6.00 and hour. Imagine how the interest in roles may change if the fact that some can earn more than 10K a month at certain times of the year.

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      • Anonymous says:

        They do earn 6/hr plus gratuities. Anyone can google or ask what gratuities come out to. If you can’t do the math to figure out what the actual earning potential of a position that is mostly paid by gratuities then you probably shouldn’t be complaining about how hard it is to get the job. Terrible excuse

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      • Anonymous says:

        I’m going back to bartending now that my papers came through

        • Anonymous says:

          ok so we now replace the work permot holders with caymanians lets see how long that will last but what are we gonna do with the work permit holder thousand of miles from home no job no money no severance pay thats on immigration. truth be told those jobs were there before you think covid 19 will make a difference now. dont think so

    • Brother says:

      Sad but true. Too many of my brothers don’t want a job. They just want money.

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      • da-wa-u-get! says:

        That too will have to change!! we should continue giving a “Hand Up” and instead cut back on the “Hand Out”

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Where do you see the jobs on the WORC website? I couldn’t find any jobs listed anywhere. Even after I set up an account (with a passport that doesn’t allow for special characters and is only 8 characters long!) and logged in, there was no link to a list of available jobs to be found. So where is the list of jobs??

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  8. Anonymous says:

    R.I.P Caymanian Compass. Now we move our attention for printed news to the Caymanian Times, good luck Ralph.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    As an employer my issue is that job seekers will use the portal like Tinder and swipe right on every listing. Unfortunately, i can not swipe left. I am compelled to read every resume, still not permitted to short list, compelled to offer an interview, Then explain and document the reasons why i did not offer a job to a person when realistically their resume would not have warranted a second glance.

    Even if i choose one of the job seekers early on , i will be required to complete the interview process with all the applicants.

    Just realised I will need to hire an additional person to do all this extra work!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Or employ a Caymanian candidate. No work required!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Isnt Tinder an online hookup app for sexual encounters ? Maybe focus more on your business and less on Tinder, its starting to affect your vision

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      • El Chapo says:

        What I believe Anonymous 4:07 am meant was that applicants would take the same approach to job applications as tinder users do to every profile they come across. That is to swipe right (or yes) to everything just to see what materializes. It’s basically playing a numbers game. For an employer, this could be difficult and time consuming if he or she is now required by law to give everyone an interview (including those who are unqualified and should never have applied in the first place). Maybe you should try to understand what someone is trying to say before you attack them with your brilliance. Just try to think next time, eh?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Assume you’re unemployed.

        • El Chapo says:

          Nope… fully employed. I’m sorry, were you trying to be cool with the stupid come back? Contribute something useful or crawl back under your rock.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I am not sure why are you are making his sound so difficult – if you have a decent accurate job description and qualifications – it is quite easy to explain why a certain person didn’t meet your requirements – Maybe you all just need better job descriptions to narrow down applicants

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      • Anonymous says:

        The issue is that if I receive 100 applicants for an entry level job and I decide that applicant #2 is the one then I still need to respond to and justify not hiring the other 98 applicants.

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  10. Unsolicited employment ads! says:

    At least once a week for the past 6 months I have received an email from the same local recruitment agency (let’s call them Commercial Marketing Limited for the purpose of this comment, shall we?), asking me if I’m interested in hiring Joe Expat or Jane Expat who is a qualified Accountant with local experience, currently on island and in between jobs. The local recruiter’s email waxes poetically about how Joe or Jane had worked on island for the one of the big 3 accounting firms, or some other financial services provider on island for a year or two, then decided to move on. The email will continue on about how Joe or Jane would be the perfect fit for my firm, and that I should contact the Commercial Marketing Limited before I miss out on the chance to hire this excellent expatriate worker!

    Have I missed an amendment to the labor law? I thought unemployed expats looking for work while still on the island was illegal??

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    • Anonymous says:

      I also thought the previous employer had an obligation to cancel the WP which then meant that Joe and Jane had a limited time to then leave Cayman. As someone who arrived here in the mid-90’s the WP process was a nightmare and the consequences of leaving your job before your WP expired meant your existing employer had to release you from your WP and this was not guaranteed. I don’t understand the system now where WP holders seem to be able to change jobs at will.

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    • Anonymous says:

      My understanding (the Law & the situation may vary) is that the recruitment firms take out the work permit for the person, then try to find them placements as temporary staff. The idea is that if the employee does a good job the company may want to hire them full-time. At which time the company does the work permit application as normal.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am an employer and have been getting this same email as well!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I recently employed 2 Jamaicans who had married a caymanian. They came with huge expectations of what they could do. They robbed, ripped me off, upset all their coworkers and starting threats when I eventually had to fire them both. They cost me thousands of dollars not to mention the stress. What I’m getting at is that WORC need to seriously screen these guys and validate the experience they say they have. I hear one of them was arrested for assault and pending sentencing. Just because they say they can do the work doesn’t mean they can and the drama that follows a lot of these guys can simply ruin years of hard work. The island will be flooded with these guys now and the government needs to understand that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s the truth. And yet, worc will protect them.

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    • Anon says:

      Dude, you own a business on island, and you’ve never come across the Jamaican guys that say “yeah man, me can do it” to every single question? Rule number 1, if they SAY they can do everything, they can’t.

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    • Just Sayin says:

      Your first clue should have been that the 2 Jamaicans had married the same Caymanian…

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    • Anonymous says:

      WORC does ZERO screening and even allows former work permit holders to use the system.

      So I had to take the time to arrange an interview, because he pressed a button on the portal, and i would have to write why i did not hire him to keep my account active. He was a janitor, had no experience for the job i had posted nor met the requirements. But as i said, now he clicked send i HAVE to follow up and if i was applying for a permit, discounting someone because his resume, qualifications, or experience do not meet my requirements… I HAVE to offer an interview.

      Guy was acceptable but not great, and within a few minutes… “well i am on my second extension”.

      WTF are you doing on WORC???

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    • Anonymous says:

      Troll

    • The Truth says:

      With that being said not all jamaicans are criminals who come here for a quick dollar or to get married for residency status. Same can be said where not all caymanians are lazy and dont want to do hard labour. Many who come here on work permits do so because they truly cannot get a better job in their local economy. Doing the same job back in their home country pays less than $1KY/Hr which cannot suffice to maintain their family. Leaving your family inorder to ensure their wellbeing only to end up in a country that rejects you because of your nationally is not an easy mental and physical burden to bare yet still we push on through for the sake of our loved ones. Reverse the roles and other nationalities would be chastised for treating caymanians on work permit in their countries in the same fashion that caymanians treat all nationalities here. You cannot just pick out the bad and not commend the good that is also being achieved. There is no one side to a table so don’t dwell on just the negatives as if the positives doesn’t apply. Not everyone is the same and even though the minority is doing their utmost best to build a better future for their children they will consequentially be bashed for the wrongs that the majority has done. Cayman is not perfect and no country is claiming to be. Alot of caymanians assume they are obligated just by being caymanian that they should just be paid and not do the work. From a business perspective , hiring caymanians who are not productive is no way good for that business but yet at the end of the week you must pay them and if you even try to fire them they have a cousin who will shut down your business and have you kicked off the island and that’s the truth no one wishes to speak. Crime will always play a major factor in every country’s society. Yet crimes that are being committed by caymanians are not being paraded as much as any that has been committed by work permit holders. At the end of it all the cold hard truth is that this country is racist towards all work permit holders especially towards jamaicans…but as the saying goes the good WILL have to suffer for the bad.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Who gives a F%$K! they are destroying this island’s economy by not allowing any businesses to open unless they are “essential”. All businesses are essential to keep this island functioning! if you drive away all the foreign workers this island will be deader than it is now. Who would want to come to an island where they know in the future you will be TRAPPED and made to be under house arrest under false pretenses until a corrupt government decides you are aloud to pop you head out of your over -priced rental home. We all now the death rate of this virus is lower than the normal yearly flu and yet we shelter in place obeying everything this government fabricates to scare us into submission. WAKE UP AND LIVE! Buck the system.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe there are low numbers because Cayman kicked down? Have you seen what goes on in places where they don’t?

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    • Anonymous says:

      @8:59
      Of course the death rate is lower than the normal flu, Genius! Do you remember last spring how so many medical personnel,and other citizens died from catching the flu? Do you remember how the World Economy collapse, and miraculously recovered, only to collapse again in 2020? Do you!!??
      But there is one thing that’s much more deadly than the flu, or corona virus…That is minds like yours!!

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  13. Andrew says:

    For the past five years the majority of people haven’t been using newspapers. Imagine putting an ad to sell a pair of shoes in the newspaper, you’re better off screaming out of your window “shoes for sale!”.

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  14. Anon says:

    Perhaps a rep from Worc should be present at all future job interviews along with a tape recorder.

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  15. Anon says:

    Does all this apply to the Civil Service and mean they have to answer the telephone.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    What is the situation for those on twp that expire while shelter in place still in force?

  17. Anonymous says:

    It is a step in the right direction, but far too many employers write their job descriptions around the existing permit holder that are not relevant to the job. How do we police that?

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    • Anonymous says:

      So true…I may have actually seen qualified accountant with webbed toes accepted by immigration.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    This will be the end of the Cayman Compass as a result of the law change.

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  19. Too much says:

    Why does WORC need a copy of your passport. This sames like an over reach? So if it a company what do i do?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your grammar is all over.

      However it SEEMS pretty standard for establishments to ask for a government ID. This is not an “over reach”.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes it is. If the employer is a company the beneficial owners details are already in file. Ditto for anyone with a TBL. So why does WORC need it? TBL for sure, even company registration, but passport?

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      • Anonymous says:

        The business licence should suffice as the owners have to show proof of identity to get that. Pretty sure the data protection law prohibits collection of personal and sensitive data which is not relevant to the situation.

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  20. Anon says:

    Why are we still taking P/R applications. Far too many if them already competing with Caymanians for jobs and Ststus holders now conrtolling the vote. No more P/R and Status shoild be granted in immediate future.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hahahahahahahahahaha I can’t laugh enough at how entitled you lot are. But… maybe I can… hahahahaha. I needed that. Thank you for the laugh.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It is their country…they are supposed to be entitled you pathetic non-belonger…go home

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      • One finger points at us, while four fingers point at you says:

        @6:50 pm, Do you mean the same as how entitled “you lot” are back in your home country, Mr. Privileged Class? Funny how when the pot is abroad, he finds it so easy to call the kettle “black”.

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    • Anon says:

      4.31pm No more P.R and no more status , then no more British passports, you can’t have it both ways.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I would turn my British passport in.

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        • Anon says:

          8.44 That’s what a lot of these UK bashers should do.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Probably. I came here 47 years ago from the UK and I am here to stay. I don’t need my British passport and quite frankly, I don’t need any passport. Where to go?

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            • Anon says:

              7.25pm I came here from the UK, 51 years ago, obviously I like Cayman and I’m grateful that I’ve been allowed to live and work here for so long, however I would never give up my British passport.

            • Anonymous says:

              I am one Cayman that don’t want a British Passport and will never get one. My Caymanian passport is good for me, but I don’t like it printed in the U.K

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, doesn’t seem to stop the BVI.. They got the opposite policy from Cayman and they are doing just as well..

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      • Anonymous says:

        We should at the very least stop granting PR to people who cannot afford to live here. The importation of poverty over the last decade has been astonishing, and we are about to all feel the consequences as our agencies collapse under the pressures placed on them.

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      • Anon says:

        @7:48 pm And if you move to another country, you have to live by that country’s rules. You can’t bring your privilege from your home country and expect it to continue to work in your favor abroad. YOU can’t have it both ways either.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The reason there are still PR applications is because the time limit for applying is mandated by law so qualifying applicants still need to get in their paperwork. And why are foreign people here competing with locals for jobs? Because of the basic spelling and grammar errors shown in your writing. Local employers cannot find enough decently educated people already on the island. Perhaps spend your time in lock down wisely and take some online education so you come out of this situation better suited to some of the jobs on offer.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because there is a law that outlines a system upon which is the basis for granting PR. It’s a law dumbass and you can’t just turn it off when you feel like to suit yourself.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t seem anything new. This process was already done with NWDA And copies of reply to applicants was sent always sent to NWDA 🤨

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    • Anonymous says:

      exactly…both are actually run by many of the unemployable. And these are the unemployable that actually bent over backwards to screw their own people…you all know the HR folk I’m talking about.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ah. But now it will be done online, which is new and shiny. Still won’t be able forced but hey it’s Cayman – we love new rules and regulations so we can boast about how tightly regulated we are, but never actually enforce any of them. Just imagine what it would be like if immigration and DCI enforced work permit and TBL regulations as enthusiastically as the R CIPS enforces curfew. Daily report from Joey on how many employers had been warned for prosecution, immigration raiding construction sites and bars with illegal workers and tweeting those who try to flee!

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  22. Anonymous says:

    There will be no jobs until the dissenters are rounded up and removed from society.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Big words from Aldart who gave permits and PR to whoever paid. He’s allowed employers to blatantly abuse and circumvent the laws and regulations. Now that he’s given away everything he wants them to play by the rules. Good luck.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Why require workers to register and show all that they are looking for work (even possibly their current employers)? Why can’t they just review jobs and inform WORC for the ones they are interested in or apply directly to the employer while notifying WORC? You seem to intentionally making it difficult for workers to apply.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I hope the portal is more user friendly than when it first opened a few months ago.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I think anyone receiving money from NAU should be required to be registered if they are unemployed and there should be a requirement that they are actively seeking employment in order to receive benefits.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    At first glance I really think this is a great idea, but I can see it slowing down the approval time quite a bit whenever there is a bit of contention between the employer and a Caymanian applicant that has been turned down. Often applicants look great on paper and their resume will say they have a BA, MBA etc with lots of experience. But when you interview them or test their writing skills the person and the resume do not seem to match up. I can see many applicants arguing that the employer is just biased and that could cause the whole process to stall quite dramatically. I am not saying there aren’t lots of great Caymanian employees out there but often, when a person has only worked on island their whole life, they have a slightly skewed vision of just how great their skills are or are not.

    One other thing the government should do, if they have not already, is give WORC the power to declare that the compensation being offered in the job ad does not fit the job profile and deny a work permit being issued. Often you will see an employer asking for a university degree and 20 years of experience for a myriad of low level jobs and require that the employee be available weekends and holidays on top of the normal work week and only be offering between $6 and $15 KYD/hr. This must stop. When they do this we all know they plan on hiring an expat that they already know and have an agreement with and also know that most Caymanians will not accept such a low wage for a job that has outlandish requirements. The education, skills, experience, and other job requirements needs match the industry standard for salary range.

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    • Anonymous says:

      spoken (yes I know it is written) like a true expat trying to justify hiring friends or at least not a Caymanian that can challenge his own permit. Your common boy.

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    • Anon says:

      3.51pm Ref your comments in para 2, this is already covered , even if the expat has every qualification under the sun, if a local can do the job, he gets it.

  26. Anonymous says:

    They really need a better system of allowing an employer to register. A copy of the TBL I understand and having an authorised person I understand but notarised copies of the owners passports etc is asking a bit much to register on a platform intended to get people employed.

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    • Good start says:

      The final nail in the new paper business. We should all be going green anyway. This welcome change, as this should save companies and individuals money by not having to pay for advertisements. Hope he did this too for CIG adverts too.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed,. Very complicated

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    • Anonymous says:

      Requesting the passport may contravene the Data Protection Law, it’s worth checking.

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