Permit fees bite business

| 31/05/2010

(CNS): The pain of the recent increases in work permit fees is too much to bear, some local business owners revealed at a Chamber of Commerce business seminar on Thursday. A number of well known members of the business community said they were really struggling to stay afloat as a result of the permit hikes, which have seen some permit fees triple, forcing them to let people go. Following the implementation of the fee hikes, according to immigration statistics, the number of work permit holders has declined sharply as employers cut staff to try and ride out what is proving to be an extremely difficult recession for small and medium size enterprises (SME).

Fees were one of a number of concerns raised by the audience at a special Chamber of Commerce seminar which took place at the Westin. Part of the ‘Be Informed Series’, the free event involved a presentation by Chair of the Immigration Review Team Sherri- Bodden Cowan, who updated the Chamber members on a number of issues, from the rollover policy to the new investment certificate for entrepreneurs.

David Kirkaldy, the Chamber’s Vice President, said in his opening address that in its latest survey of over 200 local businesses immigration issues were top of the list of concerns, in particular the recent hikes in work permit fees. Wil Pineau, the Chamber President, also said that the fees were really hurting small businesses in the Cayman Islands and suggested that it might be time to create a tiered fee schedule for smaller businesses.

Local business owners and past Chamber presidents, Eddie Thompson and Morgan DaCosta, both revealed how the current fees were literally crippling their respective small businesses.

Thompson, who runs a small architect firm, said he had reduced his headcount from five to two members of staff but was still having to pay the same work permit fees as larger companies. He said the playing field was not level and that the “overwhelming fee” hikes were the last straw for many small businesses. “Immigration issues were the proverbial nail in the coffin for small businesses,” he said, adding that the challenges presented by immigration were driving him to consider closing his business.

Morgan DaCosta, who owns Maedac Supply, illustrated the struggle of small business when he explained the problems of selling goods with very small profits and what the increase in fees really meant. “I sell potato chips … it’s no joke – that’s our business. How much you pay for a bag of potato chips puts it into perspective when I must pay (immigration) $2,000 for a man to drive the truck,” he said, adding that it was unreasonable to say a driver was in the professional category because he holds a driving license.

He said the impact of work permit fees, such as $16,000 for an accountant and $8000 for inventory clerk, was ridiculous and simply too much for a small business such as his to cope with. He said he was well aware of busineses that were leaving the islands because of the work permit increases as he was seeing the exodus affect his own customer base and said everyone was hurting.

Maria Bodde, who owns a small land surveying company, said that she had faced increases of three times the fee the firm paid last year for their land surveyors. “For one of our professionals we paid $2,500 last year, this year we are paying $9,000,” she said, explaining that at first the Immigration Department had asked for $12,000 as they did not know how much to charge for a Land Surveyor because it was not on the list.

Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans said that her department did not have any control over the fee hikes but she said the sub-committee led by Canover Watson which had recommended the increases to government had done so on the basis that the fees increases would have been offset by the pension holiday which is now clearly not the case.

Confirming earlier reports this week that the pension take up has been very slight, Evans said the pensions office had indicated that only around 100 people had taken up the pension holiday, creating concerns in government. Evans said that she had not consulted with the Portfolio of Finance about the fee situation and did not know if they were set to be revised.

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  1. ex expat says:

    What happens when you roll over ONLY the skilled and hard working and then raise the cost of finding new ones?  Read the headlines!  Fool, fool, fool, but to Caymanians Smart, smart, Smart!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Having recently started a new business, and looking for young enthusiastic employees I took the decision that whilst I am based here there is no reason why someone located elsewhere (India) couldn’t do the research I needed. So there you have it – for the price of a work permit I employ someone for a year in India and have all the information I require to assist me waiting in my inbox each morning. Small Business 1 – Work Permit Fees 0

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think we should put an advert on some international job search sites to see if we can bring in some smart leaders on a work permit to run the country, that way if they don’t perform we can always threaten to cancel the work permit

    Then the current jokers can go back to singing and planting Cassava

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well you can’t blame the Ex Pats for this mess. You voted for what you got! If you don’t like it, vote em out!

    A Caymanian

  5. Anonymous says:

    Let’s lay the whole discussion about businesses discriminating against Caymanians to bed shall we. Businesses are in the business of creating a profit. If a business can lower it’s overhead costs by not having to pay permit fee’s, they would as it would increase the bottom line. Concerning working holidays, weekend, long hours, not taking lunch etc. that is called creating a career for yourself and is exspected all around the world from anybody that wants to climb the ladder of success, expats and "natives" in every country alike.


    • Anonymous says:

      Oh well there it is – you have laid it to bed! ll it took was a simple pronouncement from you and it was done, reality notwithstanding.  

  6. Live Free.... says:

    Ladies And Gentlemen, I hate to announce that the ship called Cayman is now entering the dangerous waters of Depression, because the captain fail to steer the ship out of recession, so we are now badly off course.The reason why the ship has really gone off course, is because the Captain was to busy raising the fees across the board and cutting the salary of the CS group at 3.2%, while he and his crew all fail to take a larger cut of their own salary, and also to busy flip flopping instead of paying attention to the Ocean ahead.This ship is going to sink if it continues on this path, unless the Captain quickly finds away of steering the ship into safer waters, which it seems he is incompetent to do.The businesses on board are already jumping ship to find a better place to run their businesses, because the increase fees are killing them. And on this ship we have a mixture, we have expats, lazy young people, ambitious people of the ship call Cayman and wanna be gangstas, the crime is also out of control on board this ship and people are losing their jobs because the businesses can’t afford to pay them, again due to the Captain who thought it was wise to increase the fees across the board to help improve the revenue, when in fact, he has now made it worse than before he and his incompetent crew took control of the ship.

    2. The Cayman Islands.

    Ladies And Gentlemen, as we all know it was already hard for businesses to operate here in Cayman, when the increase in duties and rental fees on their facilities (Plaza) etc went up, where most people operate their businesses from. And to help keep their cost down they had to hire expats to work for them, don’t get me wrong, a lot of them have Caymanians working for them also, but remember the expats plays a big role in securing the Caymanians job, and also by keeping the cost down for the employer. Now guess what? The business owners can’t afford to pay for their permits because of the ridiculous increase of the fees, so guess what happen to the Caymanian? They are now out of a job along with the expats, because the business owners could no longer operate their businesses as efficiently as they would have like to, so they leave and find another country where they can operate their businesses the way they would have like to in Cayman. The Government of the day should have known better than to throw money at the recession (increase fees). There’s only one way to get out of an recession,that is cutting expenditures. Instead of raising duties, cut down on the duties, and Instead of increasing the business fees and permit fees, the MLA’s should have cut their own salaries from the beginning, to set an example, and other businesses would have follow suit in how they would lower their own expenditures. And instead of the pension holiday, even though it may help some companies save money, it can also affect the employees pension in the future, this is a very difficult pill to swallow.

    In a nut shell, the Government should have not increase anymore fees from the beginning, but instead, look in to other areas of dealing with the revenue and deficits at hand, by all means they should have never increase any fees period, knowing the fragile state of Cayman economy and on top of that, the recession. My Friends, This Is Completely Incompetent Of The Government Of  The Day In Dealing With The Financial State Of Cayman. Sad, Very Sad Indeed.

  7. genetic mutation says:

    poor education, a sense of entitlement, and a culture of cronyism and nepotism in a corrupt pot,  mixed with a nice dose of drug, gun, and gang culture from de mothaland, an ye get wha ya get.


    • Anonymous says:

      Now, how can say that? We are so advanced when compared to our Caribbean neighbors.  What did we do differently? Oh yes, we allowed foreigners in to start international businesses and to set the business standards. So now that we are rich, its time to kick them out and we can run the show ourselves. Only then can we truly compare our effort and intelligence to those of our neighbors. How do you think we will do?

      • Anonymous says:

        Good luck with that one! I’m sure Mr Hedge Fund Manager from New York and London will feel safe in the knowledge that graduates from George Hick High School and UCCI are handling their $bn portfolios.  Some people should learn to just keep their mouths shut and enjoy the free ride they’ve been on for the last 20 years or stand up to the plate and get a first class degree from an internationally recognised university, a training contract with a magical circle / big 4 firm, obtain some world class experience then come back and start shouting your mouth off. Then again that would require hard work, study, intelligence and effort, sadly attributes that are lacking from the dross that is being produced from the Caymanian schooling system. One further point – get on a plane to Bahamas and see how they’ve done for themselves post kicking all the expats out of the financial community.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am an expat and have several friends from different nationalities. Does the current government realize that they are killing small and big business because of these increases?

    On one point, many employers reduced their employees not by sending them home but by asking them to look for a new employer or worse look for some place to have extra work to survive. I can bravely say that almost 2 for every 15 expats are affected.

    What many people does not realize is that business is actually out there but it became slowest ever because many people even the wealthy have resorted to illegal hiring of people. Cars, trucks and the like that needs repairs are sent to going small time mechanics who does not have business permits. Landscaping probably is the worst, where even the wealthy people resort to hiring part time employment.  Small landscaping companies close down because their own people work on the side without their knowledge. Many resort to hiring very cheap landscape companies but some of these companies does not even give medical benefits to their employees. I know one gardening company in Bodden Town who pay his employees for a full month work for only $200!

    On another note, immigration tend to entertain approving work permit to expats who came totally different from the latter’s employment. Once this happen, that expat is very muck vulnerable in doing part time in his previous experience. An example is a previous gardener who have gained many years of experience and suddenly changed his line of work to construction.

    There are a lot of work to be done, I know but it can start by being disciplined with the laws governing Cayman.

  9. Dred says:

    I don’t know what you all think about all of this but I really think McKeeva has it in for the private sector. I have never in my life time seen a government so hell bent on putting all our problems on the private sector.

    Let’s look at the score:

    1) Increased CIMA Licenses

    2) Increased Business Licenses

    3) Increased Annual Government Licenses

    4) Increased Work Permit fees

    5) Increased Duties

    And wait there is still talk of taxes to come.

    All along he sits there with a bloated CS who has been singled out not only by the public on numerous ocassions but by his own review team in the Miller report yet he fails to do one thing about it.

    The report all but states that in truth and in fact it was not the building of the two schools or the government offices building and to an extent not even therecession but the increased cost in civil service that really drove PPM into deficit.

    I believe that because these measures were done in an attempt to resolve all our financial problems in one year instead of three. We need to revisit these and reduce them significantly. This would be in line with attempts to resolve our financial position over a longer period of time.

    What I am personally scared of is the fact that we may not be able to get the genie back into the bottle.

    We need his attention and maybe a March is in order and if not a referendum.

  10. incognito says:

    Not to add fuel to the flame, or just to add hear say, but I was informed that there are quite a lot of discrepancies with the work permit fees. They are businesses out there that are being charged the “buddy” rate compared to other business of the same size that perform the same services.

    To verify whether this is true or not, I urge all businesses to use the transparency law to see if they are the ones footing the higher bill, and so that they can question why they are the ones stuck with the higher fees.

    I believe in doing my part for my country, but I refuse to watch any person be treated unfairly.

    I also agree that the small business persons cannot be expected to pay the outrageous bills that the large companies (who by the way get breaks too) pay.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Can You Believe Some Want TAXES on Top of Permits? If business is hurting now imagine a tax to boot. We need to cut permit fees and simplify the process of getting a permit to stimulate growth. Small business is like a fire that fuels the economy and government is throwing wet logs on that fire. There will not be much to take back in Cayman if we continue on this trajectory.  Rather it will be the British "taking back" the government from those too incompetent to lead.  Then we’ll really be screwed. What exactly do you  think is going to happen here?  Mother UK will just roll over and absorb our unsustainable debt without consequence? They are on the hook and will be showing up with boats and soldiers if we decide to stiff them.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The Members of the Chamber of Commerce, many of whom were not born in the Cayman Islands, just dont seem to understand what The Immigration Laws and Work Permits are all about.

    We have a situation where many employers are struggling to maintain their inappropriate high standard of living by employing guest workers at very low rates of pay. Some of those workers consequently live in conditions which many people consider unacceptable in a modern society.

    For example a Caymanian school lever might expect to earn $7per hr, $3 more than the indentured labor rate of $4 per hr.

    Now for the math. Say 50hrs a week x 50 weeks = 2500hrs per yr.

    2500 hrs x $3 = $7500 per yr.

    The work permit cost $8000. So if you took the trouble to train a young Caymanian, you would be $500 better off. You understand?

    • Anonymous says:

      And you do? Let me guess. You don’t run your own business. You employ no one. If you did, you would know that anyone who has a work permit of $8,000.00 certainly doesn’t get paid $4.00 per hour. Therefore, your math is as flawed as your logic. I’m not surprised.




    • Anonymous says:

      “Took thetrouble to train a young Caymanian?” oh trust me its lots of trouble, and yes I am a Caymanian, with the mentality some of my people have, I gave some young Caymanians a break, I trained them up, sent them to courses. After my investment in them, they decided to leave 6 months after and start up there own company competing against me for a while trying to pluck all my business from under me.

      That’s the reward I got, GREAD! And BAND MIND! Now I have one of the individuals wanting to come work for me again after there failed attempt of a business.

      All I hire are expats now, I get more work done, I don’t have to train them cause they come already trained along with some sort of work ethics and I don’t have to worry about band minded people stabbing me in the back.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are are a traitor to your country and your countrymen.

        In the free market there is competition. Dea l with it.  

  13. Anonymous says:

    If these businesses paid decent wages they would not have immigration issues. What they are looking for are slaves not salaried employees. They all want people to work for less than $10 and hour and that is legalized slavery. For the record I used to pay my helper $10 an hour 6 years ago and I now pay $15 an hour for gardening services. That is what my consciences tells me a person deserves for that kind of work.  And yes these should be the lowest paid jobs, not a waiter at a restaurant making $4.50 an hour while the owners make $20,000 a month from the restaurant.  Some of these business owners are just using lowly paid foreigners to make a business for themselves. They bring them here and let them become prostitutes and steal or live with 3 others in a  bedroom. Shame on these scurrilous people. They need to close their doors and go to hell.

  14. Richard N. Parson says:

     Cayman continues to price itself out of business.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I said all of this to the Premier 2 weeks ago in a letter to the radio and he said it was "foolishness". Companies like mine will move as head office doesnt want to bear the brunt of the fees – it cuts in to profits. $7,500 to $15k for our people is idiotic. We can find sun elsewhere, sadly. Bad news is cant sell the house. Lower the fees back to where they were, reduce Civil Servants salaries by 10% like other Caribbean nations, cut out the salaries for those in Govt on gardening leave (atrocious) and stop spending for a while (maybe do 1 school)

    • Anonymous says:

      some sensible solutions, other than the one that asks to stop the salaries for those in govt. on "gardening leave".  those people on "gardening leave" are not guilty of anything, other than of being "out of favour" with the powers that be – simple as that… 

      • Anonymous says:

        admitted, it’s hard to ‘do the right thing’ when you aretaking home $140,000.00 (plus benefits) a year…. for doing nothing.  not sure what I would do…. but, those people do have the option (i assume) to be a good patriot and refuse the money, or donate it to charity (hell, maybe they are).  They have the choice.

        I would think, that anyone at that level would have enough talent and energy to pick up and start a new job.

        • Anonymous says:

          i imagine that those people taking $140k (plus benefits) would love to be able to return to their jobs and earn the money that they’re being paid – i’m sure that they didn’t ask to be put out to pasture…  if there was "cause" to fire them, government would have done so long ago.  but you see, government cannot find reason, so they put them on a prolonged vacation…  for you to say that these people should now donate or refuse the money is ridiculous.  how would you like to be told not to come to work tomorrow (for no reason) andby the way, the nice thing for you to do is to donate your income or refuse it.  right!!!

          • Anonymous says:

            I didn’t say I’d like it (quite the opposite) . But after sitting on my big fat bottom for a year, i may start to rethink my position. I’m not sure It would  be right to consider it My income (my entitlement). Just maybe I may see it as feeding at the trough…. the trough for special people only.

            • pauly cicero says:

              I would take the money and not get all philosophical about it.

            • Anonymous says:

              let’s agree to disagree.  you’re a far better person than i ever could be.  you see, someone puts me out to pasture for no reason, i’d make them pay for it.  obviously you have no need for money and would most likely support your family on air…  and of course you would rethink your position, because your choices, after being blacklisted by the EL PRESIDENTE are wide, wide open…

        • Anonymous says:

          They shouldn’t have to look for a job in the first place.  I’m certain that there are other jobs that they could be put in.  That political crap is wrong.

  16. CDM says:

     What government fails to realize is that unlike them, businesses big and small are "in it" to make a profit. This might seem odd to them as they are able to borrow and spend like a out of control hollywood starlet.

    One of the main things that business look at in times like these is to reduce it’s fixed costs. Work Permit fees being a fixed cost, if these are raised to unrealistic levels then obviously companies will be forced to downsize, consolidate and make redundant human resources. This in turn depletes the population and with this comes less economic activity, i.e less people to support your supermarkets, restaurants, retail shops etc etc.

    June 1st might be the start of the hurricane season but it is also the start of the "going out of business" season as well, Senor Frogs being the first of many casualties. 

    But anybody can point out the problems and complain however solutions are needed. Here are a few:

    1. Roll back the fees to the original amounts (they have flip flopped on so many things so why not this too)

    2. Encourage more entertainment options which will enhance our experience for tourists. (Make it easier to bring in live entertainment and performers and once and for all stop this closing at 12 o clock foolishness as our Premier would say)

    3. Instead of making it difficult for small business, provide incentives for them to grow and create jobs to these young Caymanian males running around like wanna be gangsters.


  17. damionZ says:

    Look…  if you but just cut expenditures in the public sector, you wouldn’t need to increase fees or have them so high

  18. Anonymous says:

    The problem with the Cayman government is that they don’t realise that Cayman is just one cog in the wheel.  There are many offfshore jurisdictions all over the world and Cayman is at the top of most expensive to operate in.  Workpermit fees are excessive with other charging say US $1,000 as compared to CI$10,500 for say an accountant in Cayman.  The cost of living in these other jurisdictions are far less than Cayman.  While Cayman can boast of no taxation, this is no longer a selling point and the Cayman people seem to be ignorant to the fact.  Many other offshore locations are low tax and the net effect on the businesses and employees is that they will have higher net income even with the taxes as compared to being located in Cayman.  The unemployment will continue to rise in Cayman since businesses with downsize, transfer or close.  The difference to the expats is that since they are so highly skilled especially in the offshore sector, it is easy for them to move with the businesses.  Caymanians don’t realise that expats aren’t the enemy, its all their successive governments for being short sighted and not educating the masses to the level required to be successful and employable.

    And thats my two cents…..


  19. Anonymous says:

    Governments think increasing the fees to businesses will increase revenue to government. Premise – Everyone wants to live and work in Cayman. Based on the same premise, last week, on the radio, someone suggested to add a Royalty Fee of $100 to $200 per month for each expat. The caller suggested expats would willing pay because they are better off in Cayman than their home country and should pay for this privilege. The moderators thought this a good idea. This only tells me very few have an understanding of what is really going on.

    The problem with this logic is that one of the main criteria business look at, other than sun and friendly people, is the cost of doing business. If they feel Nova Scotia, or Panama, is cheaper, thats where they are going.

    Its interesting that Thompson and Dacosta are complaining. Weren’t they directly, or indirectly (through family), a part of the Boards that kicked long term residents out? What did they think, the new people, with no rights, were going to spend more money than the people they kicked out who built and bought homes? All that is happening is the chickens are coming home to roost. Don’t you see how many more there are on the roads these days?

    On the flip side. If there are fewer and fewer expats here, then we can "take Cayman back." This is fine as long as people realize when we take it back, we can’t keep the high salaries, fancy cars and homes. Sure the civil service settled on 3% reduction. But they were told 10%? Do you think they are going to get raises next year? Or will they move closer to the 10% reduction. Baby steps. There is nothing wrong with this. All it means is that we will end up somewhere in between the 1960’s and 2004. Weren’t we all much happier back then? The only problem is that we are now in 2010.

    Cayman needs to choose between the devil (expats’ expertise) and the deep blue sea (humble past.) One brings wealth and fast food, the other mosquitos and fish diet. There is good and bad in everything. What is desperated needed in Cayman these days, is intelligence, balance and fairness.


    • Anonymous says:

      very well said, i listened to the same radio show…..says so much about the intellect of the people callling in and also the so called ‘hosts’ of the show

  20. RogerJa says:


    I thought it would have been easy to at least cut the excess fat from off government!

    Why can’t we public-privatize certain government sectors?  

    Why can’t we at least grade salaries to cut along the civil service’ salary scale?

    Why can’t we reduce the size of a fat government?

    Why these increases in fees and duties that will only hurt the private sector and cause more people to lose their jobs?  

    It is either we in our Budget:

    1. Increase Revenue responsibly

    2. Decrease Expenditures (cuts); or,

    3. Adopt a Taxing system!

    I think hiking Work Permit fees without proper cuts is an irresponsible and arbitrary increase of revenue. Just my opinion – if I’m wrong correct me

    • Here is a thought says:

       Taxes will have every single expat outta here within six months…I’ll give up my status after enjoying my 15 years here, Caymanian marriage, and we will start anew on my US passport….it was a nice life while it lasted.

      Didn’t   IVAN  teach us to save for a rainy day?!?  why did decades of our government not save for recessions or disasters?  Selfish stupid little children!


  21. Anonymous says:

    High Fees Are Busting Businesses

    Here is one more billboard on the road to ruin.

    How many more large and blatant road signs do we need to see
    before we get the message and get off this road?

    The simple fact is that the Cayman economy can no longer afford
    the size and cost of the government it has, which is many times that of small towns of similar size in other countries.

    Government seems to be blind to the fact that it is private business
    which supports it., and what would happen to it if that support collapses.

    Government right now is like a huge building on top of a crumbling foundation. It does not take much brain power to figure out what must happen if this is not corrected.

    Our leadership must bite the bullet on this issue and embark on some
    meaningful reforms before it is too late.

    • soon comith says:

      Face facts.  Your leadership is  "not prepared" to anything to fix anything.  They have however made everything much worse.  It is inevitable that they will fail and bring Cayman islands down with them.  There is no magic fix.  There is no knight in shining armour.  There is no light at the end of the cayman tunnel.  Just a cliff that Cayman leadership is pushing everyone on the island off of.  All anyone can do is leave or stay and complain.  This kind of (leadership?) needs to fail.  This kind of (culture?) can not sustain itself.  Judgment day is right around the courner.  Keep watching as God takes a hand.  Don’t belive in God?  No matter.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The Chamber of Commerce (the obvious body to consult) and Immigration itself, had no role in relation to determining the fees – hence the madness that resulted. Some are fine in the circumstances (the financial industry can handle their burden, but it cannot go higher), but the way other businesses get charged is often ludicrous. Some fees are stilltoo low, whilst others ridiculously high – equating often to 30% of an individual’s salary.

    Of course many businesses could always hire Caymanians or their spouses – there are plenty of good ones available (Caymanians that is, good spouses are harder to come by), but given the near total failure of DER to operate effectively, there is little hope for the near term.


  23. Anonymous says:

    I got a solution for this( HIRE CAYMANIANS!!!)no more fakes jobs advertising in the local media to get a work permit renew.NO more excuses HIRE CAYMANIANS!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe that business would like to hire Caymanians whenever possible.  The issue is that in some cases there is no Caymanian suitable for the position whether it be that they lack the experience required, or simply are not qualified.  There is only so much training that an employer can do to assist.   

      • Anonymous says:

        You may believe that but it is clear not only from the unwitting confession of prejudice on here but from the experience I have gained in the positions I have held that that is not always the case. E.g. expats are often hired on temporarypermits (for which no local ad is required) and then said expat employee writes the job description and qualifications required for the position which often include qualifications which are not required for the job, are held by the expat employee but are unlikely to be held by a Caymanian.  Those are the facts.

    • Anonymous says:

      I trust you only hire Caymanians.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly, there have never been sufficient skilled and performance-minded Caymanians to staff offices, which is why some labour must be imported.  When the overhead of those businesses increases, managers must weigh whether or not to keep their office in the jurisdiction or move to a more competitive locale.  It’s not rocket science.

    • Joe Mammas says:

      Everyone would hire Caymanians if they were known for the same work ethics, skill, and experience than expats.  If they were it would solve a lot of Caymans problems right now.  But they are not!  And the amount your Government spends on Caymanian education won’t make that go away anytime soon.  Wishing a Caymanian was as educated and hard working as an expat just won’t make it happen.  Ask any business owner.  Fixing this problem means better education and teaching a better work ethic period.  Just like the expats business owners hire.  Forceing business to hire unexperianced and non working people for the sake of giving them an income won’t work in the long run.  Look what it has done to the Government.  Now the Government is takeing the rest of Cayman to failure trying to pay all their paychecks.  You can’t solve a problem by yelling at it.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Everyone would hire Caymanians if they were *known for* the same work ethics, skill, and experience than expats".

        This statement is revealing but not in the way the writer thinks. What he has basically said is that employment practises are based upon prejudices against Caymanians as to work ethics etc. generally, rather than the merits of the individual applicant. Whereas the a Caymanian entitlement mentality might take being Caymanian to be a qualification, the writer (and many others) on the other hand takes it to be a disqualification.  It is a mistake to assume that every expat works harder or is more qualified than his Caymanian counterpart since the facts do not bear this out.  This not to say that there cannot be improvement in the education and training of Caymanians – there can and should be – but clearly there is another more fundamental problem with which we must grapple.        

        • Anonymous says:

          I think if you looked into it a bit harder the evidence would show the original poster was correct. On average Caymanians have a much worse work ethic than other nationalities working here.

          The only part of your statement which was accruate was when you mentioned a fundamental problem. The fundamental problem is the poor parenting, lack of education and a sense of entitlement which has destroyed a whole generation of young Caymanians.

          This isn’t just a prejudiced opinion, this is a fact. If Caymanians turned up to work on time, applied themselves, spent less time on personal calls and facebook then they would have a chance.

          • Anonymous says:

            You appear to have missed the point. What you believe represents the "average Caymanian" should not be the basis on which you decide to entertain an application for an individual Caymanian applicant. The basis should be instead the merits of that individual. I have already addressed the entitlement mentality of some Caymanians, but your  approach is equally objectionable from the opposite end. The fact that you are declaring a prejudiced opinion to be a fact only speaks to how deeply ingrained the prejudice is and increases the cause for concern.

            • Joe Mammas says:

              The only prejudice here is against the entitlement mentality of the non employable.  The point was the reason Employers (Cayamanian and non Caymanian) alike would hire more expensive expats over cheaper and easier to find Caymanians.  The Employers are the ones that make the decisions as to who they think will be able to fill a position based on what they think they need and what they think an individual can give.  Most businesses on Cayman have had enough experience with the "average" Caymanian workers and "average expat workers to make an informed decision.  And that is "We need some expats to get the some jobs done right"  You just need to look at what a terrible job Caymanian run Government is doing in just about anything they do to see the difference yourself.  Or not.  To look is not to see.  

              And to anonymous:  If I didn’t use spellcheck most of the time it would be much worse. And I don’t live on Cayman all the time but come to visit friends often.  So stop worrying about me takeing a job away from someone.

              • Anonymous says:

                Joe, you clearly don’t understand what prejudice is since you are denying it exists but expressing it all the time. All this talk about "the average Caymanian" is obviously prejudice. Even if what you assert were true "average" means that there were will be some above that standard and some below so this cannot constitute a rational basis or "informed basis" for failing to consider an individual Caymanian applicant.  If I said that the "average Jamaican" is a criminal (which I don’t believe, but just to make a point) everyone would be up in arms and call me a racist. Your attitude is no different.

                You are not in a position to speak about whether prejudice exists at all since you are not in the group against which prejudice is being claimed, and even if you were you could not judge the experience of everyone based on your personal experience which will obviously be limited. Your statement about prejudice is therefore itself a prejudgement of the issue and is therefore prejudice. Your statement that "the only prejudice here is against the entitlement mentality of the non employable" amounts to nothing more than simple ignorance.

                I do hope you are not the poster child for the supposed superiority of all expats.  You need more help than spellcheck can provide.       

          • Anonymous says:

            Pre-judging individuals on the basis of a stereotype, whether that stereotype is accurate or not, is the very definition of prejudice. Every individual should have the right to have their own achievements, skills, experience and character assessed without reference to attributes which are entirely outside their control (such as nationality). To do otherwise only results in injustice for those who do not reflect the dominant perception of their social group.

          • Anonymous says:

             Please learn how to spell before stating that Caymanians are UNEXPERIANCED and our Government is TAKEING us to failure.  

            Really? is this for real or a joke? 

            FYI – Its UNEXPERIENCED and TAKING.  If you require any other vocabulary or spelling corrections please do not hesitate to ask.  

            If you had kids, a wife, a husband, a LIFE outside of work, then you wouldn’t be able to work everyday precisely from 8:30 – 5pm + overtime and no lunch which I have seen many expats do.  Also what would take you and your "STRONGer work ethic" to complete in 12 hours, would take myself and many other Caymanians only 6 – 7 hours to complete.  Sorry but I’ve seen it before first hand.  I have worked in the U.S. and the U.K.  both of whom have spoken highly of Caymanian and West Indian employees and their strong work ethic.  

            Everyone wants a piece of the Cayman Pie, why are you still here? why are you on this forum? if Cayman is soooo expensive and there’s better out there? I don’t understand, why complain and not just move somewhere else.  There’s got to be something good that’s keeping you in Cayman.  I’m sure its not the overpriced goods, gas and rent, but probably the high salary and dollar value that’s worth it all.  Isn’t it?  

          • Anonymous says:

             Please learn how to spell before stating that Caymanians are UNEXPERIANCED and our Government is TAKEING us to failure.  

            Really? is this for real or a joke? 

            FYI – Its UNEXPERIENCED and TAKING.  If you require any other vocabulary or spelling corrections please do not hesitate to ask.  

            If you had kids, a wife, a husband, a LIFE outside of work, then you wouldn’t be able to work everyday precisely from 8:30 – 5pm + overtime and no lunch which I have seen many expats do.  Also what would take you and your "STRONGer work ethic" to complete in 12 hours, would take myself and many other Caymanians only 6 – 7 hours to complete.  Sorry but I’ve seen it before first hand.  I have worked in the U.S. and the U.K.  both of whom have spoken highly of Caymanian and West Indian employees and their strong work ethic.  

            Everyone wants a piece of the Cayman Pie, why are you still here? why are you on this forum? if Cayman is soooo expensive and there’s better out there? I don’t understand, why complain and not just move somewhere else.  There’s got to be something good that’s keeping you in Cayman.  I’m sure its not the overpriced goods, gas and rent, but probably the high salary and dollar value that’s worth it all.  Isn’t it?  

            • noname says:

              Thank you for proving my point.  Good luck getting/keeping a job with that attitude.

        • Anonymous says:

          Look, there are many great Caymanians out there. The fact that this is true, despite repetive governments’ lack of interest in quality education, speaks volumes for the resolve of the Caymanian people.

          The division we have is threefold.

          One, there are a small percentage of Caymanians who believe in entitlement. Because of this attitude there are a number of jobs that aren’t good enough, or don’t supposedly pay enough, such as fast food, couriers, helpers, etc.

          Two,  there are foreign companies who like to employ their own. It may be our country, but it is their company. They only need to abide by our laws while they are here. Some do so more willingly than others.

          Three, there are more jobs than Caymanians. 

          These three issues need to find a balance. It will not be found through agression, accusation, insecurities or insults. Only when Cayman accepts its success was due to a coalition between locals and expats, finds a common ground, and start working together will things begin to mend.

          Its not rocketscience. But I can guarantee this. Division will destroy us, but a sense of community will make us stronger. Its a pitty our rollover law doesn’t allow the latter.

        • Adam Smith says:

          Expats must on average be more productive to an employer compared to local staff than the cost of their work permit fee otherwise they would not be hired.  That is simple economics.

          • Anonymous says:

            The problem with your reasoning is that it is too simple and does not take into account that you are dealing with human beings who do not necessarily act rationally. As we have already seen on this thread prejudice also plays a part. Further, the key reasons some employers prefer foreign workers is that through the work permit system they have a great deal more control over them and make unreasonable demands of them.     

            • Adam Smith says:

              I agree with much of that, but the central premise probably still holds.  The challenge of poor treatment of work permit employees would be helped by removing or greatly reducing restrictions on work permit employees moving jobs within Cayman so as to remove the immoral profits derived from the "indentured" culture.  By your analysis (and I am not agreeing or disagreeing with it) the removal or reduction of this restriction would help Caymanians obtain work in the work place by removing part of the incentive to retain work permit employees especially in the lower paid industries.

              • Anonymous says:

                No, I am afraid that is a non-sequitur. By removing it you create more problems. The other side of the work permit system is that it provides the only *hope* that a Caymanian has of being given a fair shake as the job must beadvertised and the Board requires the employer to show why any Caymanians applicants were not suitable. We know that is observed more in the breach. Let us be realistic,  if, e.g. a Canadian manager has a job opening and he knows someone who would be suitable back in Canada he will offer him the job and then find a way around offering it to a suitably qualified Caymanian. he will probably start with a temporary permit which means he doesn’t have to advertise. If his compatriot has 15 years experience and speaks French he will say that the applicant needs to speak French and have 15 years experience even if 10 years would be fine. Pending the outcome of the application for the full permit the employee can continue to work. If the Board turns it down  because there was a suitably qualified Caymanian the employer can appeal and pending the appeal the employee can continue to work. Meanwhile many months/years have passed and the Caymanian must move on to find another job. Further, when the permit is up for renewal in 3 years he will say that 18 years experience is required for the job. 

                Applications from suitably qualified Caymanians are sometimes not even acknowledged but no doubt find themselves into the shredder. 

                All this is reality.      

                • Adam Smith says:

                  But back to my original point.  If the Caymanianwas as productive as your Canadian then a rational employer would always employ the Caymanian. 

                  The removal of the indenture issue allows Caymanians to compete properly on salaries, and the existence of work permit fee gives them a huge advantage in terms of comparative productivity. 


                  • Anonymous says:

                    Did you actually read/understand any of my post which clearly addressed the "rational employer" arguments? 

        • Joe Mammas says:

          This needs to be proved to the business owners Expat and Caymanian alike.  Yes there are many good hardworking Caymanians but they are vastly out numbered by those who are not.  Theoriticaly any Caymanian who is not up to the modern day work standards can be trained the same as any other nationality but not in the current Caymanian education system and culture. If this does not change then all that can be done is talk talk talk.

          Talk won’t put money on the table.

        • Joe Mammas says:

          You could also say of my statement that for a great percentage of Caymanian want to be workers it is spot on.  Not totally their fault as most "Qualified" expat workers have come from a culture and country where good education is easier to get and everyone around them works hard for their lively hood.  Not true for Cayman.  And my statement is not just an assumption but a qualified fact based on years of Caymanian business owners "trying" to find Caymanian workers who are as dependable (very important to business) and who will work hard enough to make it more lucrative then a more expensive (because of the permit fee) expat worker.  You don’t have to agree with me and I know most Caymanians won’t but Its the business owners (employers) you need to convince.  As I said if Caymanians were as hard working and dependable as expat workers it would solve many of Caymans problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wanted, Caymanian waiters or waitress’s must be able to work weekends and holidays……..guess what they don’t exist!!!! 

  24. Can't help but wonder..... says:

    how many people have purchased the 25 year Residency Certificate so far?

    • Anonymous says:

      My Guess would be zero, and dont expect it to change any time soon.