Public servants face rollover

| 09/10/2008

(CNS): The controversial seven year work permit limit, which prevents foreign workers in the private sector from staying any longer without special key employment status, is about to be extended to government entities. Deputy Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks thas said the policy as it will apply to public sector employees is now being developed but a date for implementation has yet to be determined.

(CNS): The controversial seven year work permit limit, which prevents foreign workers in the private sector from staying any longer without special key employment status, is about to be extended to civil servants and those working for government agencies and authorities.

Deputy Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks told the Legislative Assembly on Monday, 6 October, that the policy as it will apply to public sector employees is now being developed but a date for implementation has yet to be determined.

The Portfolio of the Civil Service has assessed the effect of implementing such a policy and its comprehensive report is now under review, he said, and underscored the need for planning in order to maintain business continuity. Top officers in ministries and departments would be asked to undertake detailed exercises to ensure the policy would not undermine service standards, he said.

There is also a proposal to form an advisory committee that would decide on key employees, in a similar way that non-Caymanians on work permit in the private sector receive extensions.

HE the Governor Stuart Jack announced the extension of the policy to civil servants in line with public opinion last year, and said at the time it should mirror as far as possible policy for the private sector. “In applying any ‘rollover’ provisions, government must ensure that services to the public are not disrupted and its employees treated fairly,” he said.

At the same time, Chief Secretary George McCarthy warned of the importance of careful consideration of the policy, as the government is a provider of critical and essential services.

“The Government accepts that this is a regulatory immigration issue; however, Government also has other roles to play and other perspectives to consider, as an employer, and as a business owner. The ‘bottom line’ is that we have to ensure that we have the capacity and capability to maintain the level of services the public needs and expects,” he said.

 

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