Cabinet halves key worker fee

| 26/10/2010

(CNS): In a surprise announcement on Monday, government said it had reduced the fees which employers must pay for a key employee application by fifty percent. A brief statement from government information services said that from Tuesday, 26 October, permit fees payable for workers who have been granted Key Employee designation will be reduced by half. The decision to lower the administration fees for existing or new designates was made by Cabinet, according to the press statement. No reason was given for the sudden u-change in policy, which is likely to be widely welcomed by a number of employers across the island.

The key employee fee was one of many business related fees increased by the UDP government in its first budget statement in 2009, when it attempted to eliminate the public deficit in its first year in office. The key employee application fee had originally been a flat payment of $250 but the fee was significantly increased to a variable rate based on the actual cost of the work permit dependent on the given category of employee.

Following the change in the 2009/10 budget, an employer applying for key employee status for a bookkeeper, for example, on a $4000 work permit would have to pay $4000 for the key employee application on top of the work permit fee. In the wake of Monday’s announcement, the key employee application charge will now be reduced to $2000.

Key employee designation enables work permit holders to by-pass the existing rollover policy, which requires all foreign employees to leave the island after seven years of continuous employment in the Cayman Islands. Once that seven year residency benchmark has been passed, key employees can go on to apply for permanent residency in the islands and eventually Caymanian status.

Meanwhile, the Department of Immigration begins a series of public meetings this week where officials will be available to address queries and listen to concerns of both employers and employees regarding current immigration policy and service. The first meeting starts at 5:30pm on Tuesday evening in West Bay at the John A Cumber primary school hall.

The schedule is as follows:

West Bay: Tuesday 26 October at John A Cumber primary school hall.
East End: Wednesday, 27 October at the William Allen McLaughlin Civic Centre
Savannah: Thursday, 28 October at Savannah Primary School
Bodden Town: Monday, 1 November at the Bodden Town Civic Centre
North Side: Tuesday, 2 November at the Craddock Ebanks Civic Centre
George Town: Wednesday, 3 November at the John Gray High School Hall
Cayman Brac: Thursday, 4 November at the Aston Rutty Centre.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Regulations rules and new laws are what is killing this contry, we had effectivly, a one year rollover policy where any undesirables could be slipped out the contry no questioned asked, but no let;s institutionalise it make it hard and fast seven year roll over, tell people that we do not want them, demorilise and terrorise them, People will react badly to this better they live in hope and let immigration do there jobs and select who they want to stay with us and become Caymanian, and allow the free market select thru the built in advantages that we locals have over the foreign worker get and keep the good jobs,

    We make a bad rule then we make 5 new rules to try and fix it. We need to get back to the basics, what made Cayman Great was a light rule and regulation regime. We need to go back there. 


  2. Anonymous says:

    The government routinely hires expats. These expats have government contracts and are not subject to rollover. In otherwords, every expat working inside the government is a de facto key employee who is eligible for PR after two or three contract renewals.

    Why doesn’t the government hire its expat employees through the work permit process? It is too expensive and too inefficient. Also, retaining an expat on an existing contract is much cheaper than hiring a new expat from overseas.

    The government obviously has no stomach for eating its own dog food.

    God help the private sector and the capable Caymanians who should be replacing the expat government workers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The key employees are unemployed Caymanians who need to be found work.  It i s far to easy for companies to define expats as ‘key workers’ when ther are eager caymanianbs waiting and wanting to be trained. 

  4. Thankful Again says:

    To: soon we’ll all be not here (not verified) on Tue, 10/26/2010 – 10:40

    Pity!? No need to pity us. Mistakes may be corrected. You seem to be in the camp that think that Caymanians or the people in the Cayman Islands exist only because of "others"! I am sick and tired of you gloom and hate filled spewers that seem to think and dwell in the negative for Cayman. I would agree that we have some changes to make, the least of which, weening ourselves from the mentality that we are for naught save someone else from outside says different. Its rubbish! That self-determination and self containment equals dimise is misleading scare tactics that means us no good. What is truly sad is that we appear to have a bunch, in position of authority, that succumb to and appease your and their own insecurities. That needs to be corrected. I got news for you too and all the other nay sayers: Cayman best days are ahead. The good ship Cayman is still sailing, weathering the storms of change and self doubt; ridding itself of burdsome,hate filled spewers and leeches that disguise in "voice and tone" that is as fake as they come! Go pity yourself!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Now cut the astronomical package tax and warehouse fees charged by Customs. eg.20 small boxes 13x11x8 inches each cost $200 warehouse fee and $200 package taxes.Airfreight $ misc fees.More than $600…… Invoice cost only $285.00 This is a shame and raised the cost of doing business severely.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ask the vendor to pack the little boxes.. into bigger ones. Even five (still small) boxes containing four of each of your items would have saved you $300.

  6. Anonymous says:

    too little, too late….

     the whole idea of a key employee fee on top of a work permit fee is a rip-off anyways…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but does that mean it is now 50% cheaper to have a key employee on the staff than a work permit holder? So any employer now has a substantial vested interest in applying for key employee status for as many permit holders as possible?

    If they also lower the bar in terms of obtaining key employee this would be an effective way of undermining the work permit system.

    • Don't worry I wont stay says:

      My understanding was that your employer would a pay a Key Employee application fee of $500.

      If approved they would pay a one time Key Employee fee equal to the Work Permit fee (in addition to the Work Permit fee), then Work Permit annual fees as before. 

      Reading this article, for a book keepers Key Employer Grant, what I thought would have been $4000 was in fact $2000 and is now only $1000 plus the application fee. But then again…

      Maybe we should try and attend one of the meetings.


      • Pending says:

        If they are granted key employee status, they are then entitled to apply for Permanent Residency. If they are granted PR, they will then go on to apply for status.

        Now either Govt. wants more fees (more applications than there currently is), or they are gearing up for a mass grant of PR certificates and subsequent status grants.

        If thats the case, it will make life much harder for those who wish to progress in their respective companies, where locasl are a minority and those above them ahve been granted the right to live and work here.

        Better start telling your kids to study hard.

  8. Anonymous to do bone says:

    That’s kind of like spitting on a house fire isn’t it?  All of Caymans 12 Key employees and their employers thank you very much for the little tibet.  The hundreds that have not been granted Key employee status and their employers ( especially the ones who have now gone under) don’t.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought of as an incompetent,rude,self serving CIG entity than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.  Just a thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      It would be interesting to know how many key employees there are that will be eligible to receive PR, then status.  Every attorney, every accountant, all the ‘executives’ inbetween……?  How far does this list extend?

      • reality says:

        Actually at the company I work for only senior managers or directors are given key, that’s 4 expats out of around 75

        • Pending says:

          If all your senior managers / directors that are expat have key worker status, that effectively means that if they are granted PR, those positions will essentially be locked off until they leave the company.

          I would think you have a handful of senior positions available, and in big companies / firms, the majority of these positions are held by expats, simply because Cayman does not ahve a local workforce to fill such postions.

          If they are making it cheaper for the employer to apply for key worker status, what do you think is going to happen? Immigration’s hands are going to be full with such applications, more key emploee’s are going to be in your / my office, and the coporate ladder is going to be harder to climb.

          • reality says:

            5 directors, 7 senior managers the rest are Caymanian B &B

            As for your case, the expats will still be more expensive to employ than you, so my advice is to do your job better and work harder than those around to climb the corporate ladder.

            If you are only in a high level position because for a nationality, you really are not cut out for the job. That is why the civil service is so inefficient


      • Anonymous says:

        Quite Right!  No one who now has the right to vote would want any hard working experianced and educated person voting against him/her.  Good point!  What would happen to Cayman if the uneducated and incompetent were displaced from power?

  9. Anonymous says:

    That’s all good but I hope and pray this doesn’t mean that the companies who claims that they need these key employees will not say they need more just because of a reduction in the fees. Immigration definitely needs a shaking up because of their services. I know of someone who has called the Immigration dept 5 times in the past 2 weeks spoke to different members of staff and got different answers for the same question and this wasn’t even a complexed question. This is ridiculous and frustating for the public using their services, the staff needs to be trained properly, know laws and requirements.  Please remember the first impression is a lasting one, make it a good one. GOD BLESS THESE ISLANDS ALWAYS.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Where are the 70+ comments on this.  This is at least a step in the right direction….I guess its easy to denigrate but not support..

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh, wonderful, golly thats going to really going to help many small businesses that are struggling to keep their doors open!  I wished that time was really longer than rope and that the voters memories were a little longer than a day and then we wouldn’t have this stupid Government which cares little about the country as a whole.  We will all soon be working for the larger investors and happy for the crumbs they will pay us then if we don’t wise up really fast and stay wise for a long time.

    I prasy to God to help us, we are in desperate need and stop blaming the opposition politicians and previos Governments.  In the 2009 election, the majority of the voters of this country allowed ourselves to be misled and we need to start accepting responsibility for our mistake. We can’t simply cast our votes for those we think will be the best representatives, but who we knew full well had already aligned themselves with people of questionable motives and porous integrity and then act surprised when they lead us to destruction!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I guess this is the start of the spending of the $155m loan…..Glad to see that it’s going to good use!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I cannot the meetings, but I would like to make a suggestion and that is that ALL staff should know the Immigration laws. At times one staff will give you a direction and the next day another will give you another direction. Also Police records and medicals etc always get misplaced. Sometimes one haveto wander if it is intentionally done as it happens so often. Then it is so difficult to get a knowledgeable person on the phone there is always a voice mail. If phones were answered properly then  Immigration would not be so overcrowded with just simple questions to be answered.

    • Joe not here says:

      They "misplace" everyones police and medical records intentionally as it is part of their job discriptions.  If you had gotten a "Knowledgeable person" on the phone you obviously called the wrong number.  Better to just get used to being treated that way or quit.  Thats what everyone else that has to deal with Caymans immigration has always had to do and always will.  I did until I finally had enough and quit.

      • soon we'll all be not here says:

        It’s true.  The world’s a big place and there are plenty of locations to set up shop and run your business. 

        We are all watching the end of days for Cayman.  Soon Cayman will be bankrupt and will have no functioning government (even the civil service will quit when the paycheques stop coming out). 

        The actual cause of the fall of Cayman you ask?  Letting Kurt and Mac run it into the ground.  They have nothing even close to the skill set needed to run a nation (country/territory/whatever), and should never have been allowed to try. 

        Democracy is largly good, but it does have its downsides: it allows a population to commit national suicide, and there are no safety nets to stop the fall. 

        It is, from an academic perspective, interesting to watch this happening from the outside, but I really do pity the people of Cayman and those who have a financial interest in the jurisdiction.  What an incredible loss there is coming at you!

        • The monk of Mt. Trashmore says:

          Your right about that!  Although I have also been amazed that a population would knowingly commit suicide it is interesting for the rest of us to watch and see the obvious fruits of their ridiculously stupid ideas to try and "save" themselves from working while still "collecting" a pay check.  Some things should not be saved.