Review team extends consultation on rollover

| 11/01/2012

(CNS): The window of opportunity for the public to offer its opinion on work permit holders term limits — otherwise known as rollover — has been extended until Monday to allow as many people as possible to express their opinion. Officials said Tuesday that over 600 people and 80 businesses have already responded to the survey and education initiative launched by the review committee last month. Appointed by Cabinet to review the immigration law’s term limit provision, the committee is looking for input to guide the recommendations it will make to government on how it can deal with Cayman’s thorny issue of balancing labour market needs with limited status grants.

Government suspended the rollover policy in September by allowing people who had reached their seventh year to apply for a term limit extension period for up to two years to prevent what officials believed could be an exodus of some 5,000 workers in 2012. The review team was given six months to come up with a new policy proposal to facilitate the importation of skills and labour but which will also stop every foreign national from being able to claim residency rights.

The committee’s terms of reference include examining the effectiveness of the current term limit provisions and its impact on the social and economic interests of the Islands, the fee structure associated with the grant of work permits as well as the issue of  the ‘key employee’ provision.

Officials said that public feedback to date shows diverse positions on the issue of term limits and all residents can contribute to committee’s official report. The anonymous survey is divided into two sections: the Social and Economic Impacts of Rollover on Individuals, and the Social and Economic Impacts of Rollover on Individuals.

“We appreciate the public involvement so far, and look forward to gaining even more input over coming days,” said TLRC Chairman Sherri Bodden-Cowan.

More than half of the individual respondents to the surveyso far have been Caymanians or status holders and the majority say they have not suffered any adverse professional or economic impact from the policy but more than half had friends or acquaintances who were rolled over.

Half of these people feel rollover should be discarded, while 20% said it should remain and 16% feel the employment period should be extended and 14% feel it should be shortened.

Government and statutory authorities was the largest sector participating to date, followed by the accounting/financial, education and financial sectors. 83% of those surveyed earn between $3,500 and $6,000/month and the next-largest group earns $2,000-$3,500.

Among the businesses responding, almost half represented the tourism/hospitality sector, which is the industry believed to be the most adversely affected by the policy. The next largest group was the financial sector, though businesses involved in retail, employment, construction or landscaping, legal, education, real estate and healthcare also took the survey.

When businesses were asked what other issues impacted their business, 46 percent cited the cost of doing business, such as utilities, accommodations costs and salaries. The global economic conditions, the Islands’ reputation and the cost of annual government fees were also listed by around a third of respondents. 54 percent of the businesses have seen increases in their human resources and operating costs and similarly just over half have seen decreases in their profit margin and productivity.

Private individuals, companies and non-governmental organizations can also send written submissions by 15 January to Cayman Term LimitReview Committee, PO Box 391 Grand Cayman KY1-1106.

To complete the survey or for more information, click here.

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Comments (7)

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  1. so Anonymous says:

    When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work, because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation!  The end started in 2004.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just get rid of it – its caused nothing but problems – and expense – expense to keep having boards and surveys to tell you the same thing. it don't work!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The rollover policy was implemented in 2004. It was essentially the legalization of apartheid. It turned an informal devision of our society into formal segregation. Any person, with half a brain, knew this law would have a tremendous social / economical effect on Cayman.  

    At this point, the only question that needs to be asked is. Is Cayman a better place to live, work, play and raise children today than it was 8 years ago? If the answer is yes, the rollover worked and should continue. If the answer is no, then it failed and should be removed.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have been nominated as the most "fictional" comment of the year.

      I would love for you to explain how this rollover policy is like apartheid?

      And I am not saying that the policy was good or did not have problems or was not bad for the country but really you went overboard by a mile to compare the two.

      • so Anonymous says:

        Hit a nerve did he?  Its no secret that roll over has helped some Caymanians.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Disfranchisement of Cayman continues sadly this is done by our so called very own. TLRC Totally liquidating Real Cayman.

    • Ex-expat says:

      Don’t blame me buddy, I packed my bags and left the soon as you brought the rollover into force.