Government to exempt carers from rollover

| 31/05/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island headline news(CNS): The chair of the Immigration Review Team has revealed that government intends to create a new special category of permits for domestic workers in a care-giving role that will be designated as ‘key employees’, bypassing the seven year rollover. Sherri Bodden-Cowan said government wanted to find a way to help people in the community who are long-term sick, elderly or disabled as they were the people who were least likely to be able to cope with a change to the carers they depended on as a result of the seven year limit. The IRT chair said the premier was determined to push through a new care-givers certificate that would enable these key workers to stay.

“The premier has made it very clear that there is a sector within our community – the sick, elderly and the handicapped … that need to be protected as those people are highly dependent on the domestics who care for them. They are the most vulnerable members of society, who are the least able to adapt to change,” Bodden-Cowan said at the recent Chamber of Commerce ‘Be Informed’ event on immigration issues
She explained that the IRT has recommended to government the concept of a special care-givers certificate, where an individual employer who is elderly, sick or disabled or the parent or guardian of a disabled child, would be able to apply to the immigration officer for this special care-givers certificate at the end of their term limit. This certificate would then be renewed annually based on the continuing need and the employer being able to demonstrate that the carer was still required.
Addressing the risk of people passing through the year ten residency stage, entitling them to claim security of tenure and permanent residency and then the right to apply for Caymanian Status, Bodden-Cowan said the number of people was quite small and given the importance of these people to society the government was willing to allow them through the term limits net.
“We got the chief immigration officer to run some statistics and we have calculated that the number of domestics who deal with this category of people is relatively small, so government feels it is worth the risk as they care for the most vulnerable in our society,” she added.
The premier had indicated some time ago that he wanted to see domestics taking care of those most vulnerable in society and had also indicated the exemption on domestics could extend to those taking care of children as well. However, Bodden-Cowan did not say if this certificate would apply to carers in this category.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

About the Author ()

Comments (30)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Christian Country says:

    Sometimes I ask myself, what would Jesus do if he came to Cayman?  I think the answer is that he would be unable to obtain a work permit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually working without remuneration – Jesus’s specialty – does not require a work permit. He’d be just fine.

  2. Paper Caymanian says:

    Once again the ‘inferior workers’ who are the most valuable in my opinion are been debated about….When i read some of these blogs im convinced that aliens exits…..So much hatred…..I believe if u treat your workers properly they will stay with you.

    Nice idea to try & keep workers who look after the elderly,sick & other special needs…..They should now try to stop the exploitation of the same workers who some are ‘slaves’ in my opinion…..little or no health insurance,low wages,long hours,overworked….Im surprised GT hospital is not packed with people suffering from aches & pains…..Im happy i sleep well @ nights & i worry not how i treat others.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I do not have a problem with care givers being designated as  "Key Employees",  I do think, though,  they should have some type of formal training before being granted a  work permit in the first place. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    As has already been posted, our entitlement and "me first" culturewill ensure that this thin end of the wedge rapidly widens out….. this will soon apply to all nannies / helpers.

    We already have a rampantly unfair situation in that the pensions law does not apply to domestics (and this is the ONLY category of worker this applies to), and the huge number of people who sleep well at night while not providing their domestic helpers/nannies/caregivers medical insurance is sad, but somehow not surprising (and I’m looking at you, Mr Superintendent of Insurance, are you not in charge of enforcing this ?).

    As I see it, the whole idea of our immigration policy (and the old Caymanian Protection law) was simple and solid. You can get (and keep getting) a work permit as long as there is not a qualified Caymanian available and willing to do the job. In all my year here though, the quality of enforcement and regulation of this has been lacking, with employers constantly pushing for loopholes, and gaps in enforcement you could drive a Mack truck through.. hence we end up with the rollover policy.

    Yes, you could argue the tenure / permanent residency issues caused the need for rollover.. but if we had done a better job of giving Caymanian effective preference (and training / scholarships / on the job development) for the twenty years before that, there would be no acrimony towards giving work permit holders who had been here 10 years tenure/PR/status.

    The rollover policy has caused a greater us and them division than ever before, both culturally and economically (just see how few work permit holders who arrived post Ivan invest back in this community now)… we need a fix that is for the long term, for our children and grandchildren… not for our personal needs today or tomorrow.

    Let’s go back to that concept…. preference for Caymanians on employment… but if no Caymanian is available, allow permits to be renewed indefinitely… and if someone is till here after 10 years, sure, let them become part of our community.

    Sounds simple, but we need to first buy into this idea without cynicism, then focus on what key steps we need to take as a community (and through DER and Immigration etc) to ensure that this policy is applied and enforced.. oh, and that word accountability… make both the civil servants responsible and the employers accountable for their actions in following the policy.

    We need to open our eyes… the golden age is gone… we can still downgrade to only silver if we think further ahead than the bridge of our nose.. but we seem unable to do this… we may be looking at brass or raw iron.


  5. Anonymous says:

    I say everyone who is not Caymanian should just leave as it is clear we are not welcome here.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I agree with 10:41. I’ll bet you would not find a domestic that  was granted status in 2003 still working as a domestic.

    • Anonymous says:

      A child can figure out that the seven year roll over is a mess and only dumps double of the employment on the Island. Not only is the care givers in dire need for help bit there are others who took so many years to train their gardners, not to mention cooks and house keepers. Get ridof the STATUS business and the problem will be taken care of . Whoever is here on a w permit and messes up then send them back home. Those that behaves themselves can stay until….. with the understanding that there will not be any p residence nor status given to them. End of all the problems Ms Linda and Mr Premier.

      • Anonymous says:

        I know Jesus would do that… keeping people down…. under his righteous thumb! For christ’s sake quit crabbing and be a decent human being! it doesn’t really make you any smaller if someone else betters themselves.  It only seems that way.

        • Anonymous says:

          You seem to have misunderstood the post you are referring to which is for scrapping rollover – a thoroughly misguided idea.   

  7. Anonymous says:

    Until people start looking at each other as brothers and sisters living in one world, things will not get better.  Why is it that some Caymanians are pushing the islands as the promised land?  Most persons who want Caymanian Status do so based on security of tenure. They usually work beyond the call of duty before status and they usually continue after status.  What is the problem?  Where is Cayman?  Isn’t it just a tiny part of God’s great big world?  The sad reality with all this nonsense, is that many who continue to promote it, call themselves Christians.  Well, if you believe that God is your Father, then everyone who believes the same thing is your brother and sister.  Therefore, it matters not your nationality.  We all have Worldian Status.  Forget about Caymanian Status.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Am I the only one that sees one of the fundamental flaws in all of this? As long as the majority of Caymanians still view expats as trying to get through "the term limits net", and the associated attitude that any long-term expats do not deserve to receive Caymanian status on the basis of that long-term residency alone, there will always be an us vs them attitude. People who are law-abiding residents who contribute to Cayman through their work (no matter what that job is!) are also contributing to the Cayman economy and should be encouraged to stay, not simply be tolerated as a "necessary evil" which is the view of many.

    The rollover policy should be scrapped in its entirety. And for those who say that expats are taking away jobs from Caymanians, I would argue (strongly) that they won’t have to worry much longer if the current course continues because there won’t be any jobs left for expats or Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why are you making just about the attitude of Caymanians? There has been for a long time an us vs. them attitude on the part of many expats. You are surely not so dull that someone has to explain to you why it is will cause social upheaval if Caymanians are suddenly swamped by huge numbers of expats all claiming permanent rights. Scrap rollover in its entirety and there won’t be any Cayman to be concerned about having a financial or tourism industry.  The irony of this, is that your post displays a similar entitlement mentality that Caymanians are often accused of.    

      • Anonymous says:

        I fully support the Mon, 05/31/2010 – 11:57 post. Whilst many expats hop on here and post about the "anti expat" attitudes displayed by Caymanians much is not said about the "anti Caymanian" attitudes that Caymanians have put up with for years from some of these very people who have been allowed as guest workers in this country. I have been very lucky to have opportunities to work in many countries and I would never ever display the disrespect and attitudes that I have seen displayed towards Caymanians in their country. What the government needs to do is be less sympathetic to expats and their whining and project that sentiment towards their own people. I get along well with Caymanians, many have become dear friends and it upsets me to see the manner in which they are treated by foreigners here. Thank God I am not of like mind.

    • Anonymous says:


      And in response to paragraph 2; No. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    All well and good butwho will take care of the helpers when they’re elderly. Social Services?

    Also the minute these people get status they’ll leave their jobs for more lucrative ones and also bring in their basket load of children.

    Another can of worms. 

    People think of what’s best for the country rather than yourself. There are millions of good helpers out there and your child will adjust quicker than you think.


    • Anonymous says:

      You need to lighten up bub. "Heaven forbid" we we get a bunch of outsiders here to actually grow the economy and grease the skids for the future. It is this basketload of outsiders and their children who are going to save your kids from a shrinking economic base.  We need more of everything here.. 1000 new people a year is only 50,000 people in 50 years.  We are loosing 1000 a year now..  who is going to take care of YOU?!? …   All these restaurants and car dealships and businesses you enjoy –  well they are ALL going away without more people.  Cayman needs people.  We need to welcome them like the passengers on the first boat that berthed here after Hurricane Ivan..  you remember that?  Without more warm bodies here, this place is going to turn into a modern Caribbean Ghost Town. You sir (or ma’am) are part of the problem, not the solution.

      • Anonymous says:

        So caregivers to the infirm and elderly are going to "grow the economy and grease the skids for the future"? You seem to be confusing issues.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh please! Some of the ignorance posted on here is amazing. Do you really believe that the dependants of these helpers will come here and create jobs for Caymanians? Give me a break!

    • Anonymous says:

      "millions of good helpers out there"  ….  they’re kind of like those ‘black dogs’ ole BO spoke of a few years back huh. I tell you mister, If jesus hadn’t risen (on national go camping day) he’d be spinning in his tomb over the blind insensetivity of comments like that. 

      • Anonymous says:

        There wasno reference to black dogs or any other colour. I remember the letter very well and it spoke of exchanging the mutts for German Shephards.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Now everyone will be a caregiver. This is clearly open to abuse.

    How are they going to claim Caymanian status on the basis of length of residency alone? Does the UDP govt.plan to reintroduce into the Immigration Law having removed it in the Immigration Law, 2003 (also drafted by an Immigration Review Team led Mrs. Bodden-Cowan)? 

    Once those persons have gained permanent rights how will there be any guarantee that they will remain as caregivers? 

    Here we go again.     

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is fantastic news!  I only hope that they will also consider those that have children without special needs and have had the same nanny/helper for years… It is harder and harder to find dependable, reliable and trust worthy people to watch our children.  Once we find someone we don’t want to let them go!  My helper has been with us for 2 years, since my son was born.  I hope when its time for her to be rolled over the laws are more accomodating!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, please ensure you are paying for pension and health insurance for your helper, and buy her a car and a little apartment, and set upa trust fund for her children, and pay her at least $2,500 a month – because if you do not – your children and mine will have to pay all of these things.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Yes, please ensure you are paying for pension and health insurance for your helper, and buy her a car and a little apartment, and set up a trust fund for her children, and pay her at least $2,500 a month" 

         $2500 a month?   I don’t even make that. A car and apartment? Can I be your helper?

  12. Anonymous says:

    As long as these "care givers" are being paid what they should be paid ie. a wage that reflects the long long long hours that they are required to put in and being paid all other benefits that they should be getting under the law – then I would agree. I suggest that a survey of these "relatively small amount" of persons who fall into this category be interviewed to ensure that they are not "SLAVE LABOUR" which we do have here especially for those who are taking care of the elderly – because in many cases their families are too lazy to do it themselves and slave the helpers that they hire.

    • Anonymous says:

      I completely agree with your concern about ensuring that these caregivers are not treated as "slave labour" there could be ample opportunity for abuse as the carrot that is dangled in front of them is the opportunity to recieve Cayman Status after the 10 years are up.  Unfortunately there are so many desperate people out there that may be willing to endure being an indentured servant just for such an opportunity and we all know that someone out there will be happy to take advantage of just such people and do so now.  Scary thought!

      • Anonymous says:

        ‘Cayman status after the 10 years are up’ – is it not 15 years?

    • Tracyann says:

      Sad but True!

      They had to put up with sh%t in taking care of you, and then you decide that you don’t want the responsibility in taking care of them, so you send them away to a home where there is no family. 

      But when you were a baby and spoilt they kept you, feed you, talk to you, and changed your diapers. They spent more money on you than you would on them!  It is so sad!