Moonlighters in low pay jobs

| 09/05/2014

(CNS): Hundreds of public sector employees have been given permission to hold second jobs or run outside businesses by government bosses. But documents reveal that most of them are not fat cat bureaucrats using their positions to get rich by supplying services back to government but low paid workers toping up inadequate salaries. CNS has received information form almost half of the public authorities based on an open records request from a member of the public seeking details of civil servants with second jobs and outside businesses. The documents show most are working as waiters, janitors, food handlers, security guards, hair dressers, mechanics, taxi drivers or in shops trying to make ends meet.

Government has been criticised for what many believe is the employment of thousands of people who do nothing and are getting rich on the back of tax payers. But the reality is many public sector workers are not able to survive on the pay they receive and are working as night club security, food handlers or gas station attendants to supplement their government wages.

The work being undertaken by government workers outside their civil service roles is extremely varied. Although some appear to be holding lucrative positions as directors of companies or running small businesses supplying services to government, speculation that civil servants are all getting rich via corrupt contracts appears to be the exception rather than the rule according to the documentation released so far.

Many public authorities have yet to respond to CNS revealing the answers they supplied to a freedom of information request asking for the number of workers with outside jobs and business and whether they supplied goods and services to the government. But an early review of the responses indicates that although there are hundreds of civil servants working in the private sector many are in low paid jobs or very small enterprises indicating that these are people attempting to top up their low paid jobs in government rather than a means of getting rich.

No names have been given in these requests and not all the authorities have supplied the same amount of detail but most roles do not appear to be in conflict.

A significant number of the authorities responding so far from the RCIPS to the education department have admitted having several people holding down second jobs or running a business while also working their day job and most don’t, on the surface appear to detract away from their commitment to public service or conflict with their posts but not in every case.
There is however still some cause for concern as the limited information has revealed that several small business owners working as civil servants are also supplying goods and services to their own departments or other government entities

Also some civil servants are running outside businesses that could conflict with their government job and some are sitting as directors on much more lucrative and larger companies where there is clearly even greater potential for abuse. Many senior civil servants said they were directors of undisclosed companies and businesses but with the limited detail revealed it is not clear if they are or are not benefitting from their government positions.

When government eventually implements the Standards in Public Life bill passed earlier this year senior civil servants will be required to reveal the details of all of their outside interests in a publicly accessible register. Anticipated to have been in place byJune this year there is still no word from the authorities how this register will work or where it wil be published.

When it emerges however, It will only apply to those at the very top of the public sector. Some of the documentation released suggests that in order for the authorities to properly police potential abuse the registers may have to include much lower grades than had been anticipated.

Under Cayman’s Freedom of Information law and in the spirit of as much disclosure as possible public authorities are encouraged to post on their website this type of information.However the only public authorities that have disclosed the full details of all of their staff’s outside interests on their websites are the officers of the information commissioner and the auditor general.

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  1. #Cruncher says:

    Obviously the solution is to be an MLA. Whereby you can go to work and…collect a pension at the same time. As the Church Lady would say "How coveeenient!!" In that case, I of course would vote for me. That's one vote for sure. And if you vote for me..I'll vote for you. This could get complicated. And could the island support 52,000 MLA's?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Its admirable and sensible to hold a second job- if you want extra income to supplement your lifestyle and family.

    It's nothing to be ashamed of or complain about- this has been happening all over the world, especially in the US where it's commonplace to have 2-3 jobs, including professionals. Why should it be any different here? If you need it, work for it. Don't live beyond your means.

    It's become a world where we want more and more, and if you feed yourself with that- you should earn  appropriately. The country certainly doesn't owe it to you- it's entirely your responsibility.

    If everyone would take a step back and live with less, especially the daily extras, you will save more than you realize. Brew your own coffee, make your own smoothies, keep a package of ice cream  athome. Watch a movie at home instead of going out, clean your own home, frequent the thrift shops on the island(which help others as well). Dye your own hair, do your own nails. Cut down on alcohol. Maybe someone can post a list of ways they save on daily living to help us all.

    Of course living here is exorbitant, We all know that, the younger generation is riding the wave of the rest of the world especially with tech items. Everyone seems to want this n that and can't have enough. Enough already, live your life how you want but don't expect $ to come to you unearned. 

    • Anonymous says:

      It is NOT common in the U.S. to have 2-3 jobs,especially if you are a professional. 

  3. Cayman Bracker abroad says:

    I am nothing short of flabbergasted at the response to this article.  In my humble opinion, the article makes its point clearly, reporting the majority as being the low paying and having a few in conflict of interest.

    The conflict, my Caymanian people, should be the only concern.  Whether someone needs a second job or runs a million business should not be a concern.  What bothers me the most is that “getting rich” comments! Big deal! Our people are some of the most ambitious people on the earth- some are known as the Jews of the Caribbean (sorry for the stereotype- and it’s not a prejudice) and have done well providing many more jobs for others!  DO NOT GET INVOLVED WITH A SOCIALIST MOVEMENT LIKE LIMITING INCOME! It will be the demise of freedom and the Cayman Islands itself.

    A human being has a right to accumulate as much as he/she can without corruption etc. There should be no law such as they are trying to pass, nor will any such law serve as good!

    Remember, “No good deed goes unpunished” and “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      What about the conflict that ariseswhen a CS's second job means they are too tired to do their CS job properly, or arrive late/leave early, or make calls and e mails during the day related to the second job?  

      • Anonymous says:

        Absolutely right. No one in the country should be allowed a second job. Your sole employer owns you. … Oh, wait …

    • Anonymous says:

      And the Alamo, and to wash behind your ears

  4. Anonymousand says:

    The CS could be cut and the budget balanced if the public Demand forr FREE services were cut!
    Eg. The dump: since Ivan, mega tons of costly skiff-business garbage has been dumped with NO tippage fee charged to these businesses – which are Chamber members I’m sure.
    Govt has to build + pave roads etc for all but there are no charges to developers.
    Not to mention the millions of dollars in Hotel Room Tax proved to be collected+stolen by hotels.
    Never mind political handouts.
    AND – Didnt MLAs just vote/propose to increase their district aid funds?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think there should be a policy that states contracted, professional workers (teachers, police officers, accountants, social workers, attorneys, psychologists, doctors etc) should nto be allowed to moonlight. These people were hired for their specific skills and as foreign nationals should not be able to work for the government and compete with local residents seeking to make a living in those professions.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:33, it used to be like that long time ago,bobo, then Caymanians got into these positions and started agitating so of course the rules had to change…for Caymanians only at first. A major Caymanian player at the hospital was allowed to work privately, while non Cayanians were not -MASSIVE resentment which went on for many years. That is not really the way the world works nowadays in these human rights/equality times.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely! It has been proven time and time again that copetition is bad 

  6. Anonymous says:

    I know my comment may not sit well with some folks but I felt that it needsto be said.

    Any employee (Public or Private sector) utilising a second job should also take a long hard look at their lifestyle. Why is the second income really needed. Is it to support expenditure that is/was not really necessary, e.g. car loan on a type of vehicle that was not really needed but wanted, the latest elctronic gadgets, a full time helper when sharing could be utilised, the full TV package, eating out instead of at home, purchasing school lunches instead of making them, etc.

    We all should be realistic with ourselves. Taking a second job will take time away from home & family. If the income is suporting unneeded expeditures, is it really worth it in the end?

  7. Don't forget says:

    Sorry, but this Fridays newspaper once again has fat cat work permit renewals that locals could do (including Govt) but these will pass by Charlie and the Immgration Rrenewal Board as locals continue to only be welcome in blue collar or low paying jobs!?

    shame on the big banks and law firms advertising in THIS Fridays newspaper!! It is such a glass front door!?  Get you degree, get experience, get great references but if you are Caymanian forget the Friday adverts, those are only for expats without any challenge or teeth to our Labour Law.

    without any enforcement locals can only hope to get a mid paying job via nepotism in Govt and find side work at low pay to put groceries on the table. Private school is out of reach unless an expat so poor cycle continues 

    shame on the business staffing and immigration boards- you keep your own white collar qualified people down!?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there something wrong with blue collar work?

      • Anonymous says:

        Well it is crap, low paid and you can't wear white collars, which look super with a tan. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    The use of extended work shifts and overtime has escalated as hospitals cope with a shortage of registered nurses (RNs).

    CNS: I have moved the rest of this comment to Viewpoints.


    • Anonymous says:

      A little off the topic,but enough for CNS interest?!  I witnessed myself as my "neighbor" in this hospital was overdosed with potassium, because they "overlooked". Poor woman, what she had to go through! I did not hear at least an apology while I was there.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I smell BS. Fact. If the CS doesnt pay enough get off the pot and work in the private sector. Or is it that the CS allows people to slack off their jobs and work for themselves….and sell their services back to their mates in the CS. This way there is no need to prove yourself in the real world. 

    What about expats working 2 jobs……hmmm unlikely. But hey thats their choice right, they can just do one back to their own country….?

    The problem this island has that every native has to make (or be guaranteed) a living hence why there is massive bureaucracy in everything Govt and related industries like the HSA and Police etc does, why permits and traffic violations and trade and busines licences and insurance and small accidents all take eons to process.., its all about keeping people employed and its got to stop.

    • P&L says:

      uhm… let me help you by clarifying one thing about part-time jobs.

      Plenty of expats have 2nd jobs… that is why there is a secondary employer option in the work permit system and most of those jobs go unadvertised… go FOI it yourself if you don't believe me.

      And the last time I checked… it was not against law in the Cayman Islands for persons to hold part-time employment… Civil Servants included. I know the using "servant" in the name is still kind of confusing in the aftermaths of colonialism and all but in theory Civil Servants are really free citizens like the rest of us.

      sooo… that being said… here's s suggested solution.

      Why don't we just advertise those part-time jobs held by expats (and there are hundreds) so that all can see how many part-time opportunties are really out there.

      Then they are open to Caymanians and Expats (including… shhh.. dare I say  Civil Servants) who just might have other interests they want to pursue (e.g. music or coaching), a family business to help with or simply extra time on the weekends and a potential use for additional earnings like helping their families make ends meet since so many Caymanian families are suffering the effects of long-term unemployment.

      So, let's go over this again in shorter form…

      1.  I suggest you FOI secondary employment numbers so you can gain a better understanding

      2. Stop acting like Civil Servants are breaking law because they are NOT.

      3. Let's get Immigration to advertise all of these part-time opportunties so we can really so the magnitude of this and offer a bit more equal opportunity.


      I'm not sure where you're from but in the Caribbean we like to "Live and Let Live"… since you've seem to have taken your coat off to stay awhile… may you should try it… like Mikey you may LIkey! 

      P&L (Peace & Love)

      • Anonymous says:

        1) At no point did I suggest CS staff are breaking the law

        2) i know 100's of expats and of that number, just 1 has 2 jobs…..

        3)  are you saying that the expats are in reality taking up the part time opportunities?

        4) i cant be bothered to go any further

        • P&L says:

          Maybe you can't be bothered because you really have no further point to make?

          what I was responding to was you "whoa is me… The poor expat who can't hold a 2nd job" and so I called you out on that.

          and we have over 20,000 work permit holders so just because only 1 or 2 out of the mere hundreds you know hold down a 2nd job means nothing.

          and I spoke of equal opportunity only. I did not say give those jobs to Caymanians just cuz… I said.. Let us know about the jobs publicly and let it be fair game.

          dont bother to exhaust yourself responding…

    • Anonymous says:

      In reply to your comment "The problem this island has that every native has to make (or be guaranteed) a living hence why there is massive bureaucracy in everything Govt and related industries like the HSA and Police etc does," take this BS to Bermuda, here enlighten yourself

      Carefully read and study their "Closed" or "Proscribed" or Restricted categories

      If Caymanians are not the people who should benefit the most from development then this country does not need it. I beg to say the question, FOR WHOM ARE WE DEVELOPING THEN?


      • Anonymous says:

        I know, I lived in Bermuda as well. Bar staff for instance, protected job. Apparently not thought of much of a job here though, beneath most non expat workers.

        • Anonymous says:

          Beneath Caymanians which is why there are so many expats bar staff.

  10. Anonymous says:

    As a result of this so called moonlighting news, it has now become impssible for me as a civil servant to start my business, hiring people and leave the government.

    The paperwork has become to complicated.

    Now if I where an MLA, I can have gas stations, supermarkets, real estate firms. Anything I can do as an MLA especially when it conflicts with my job.

    But I am just a clerk, stuck in a job a can't get away from, because the public needs to hear we are all moonlighting and not working at all. 

    I also lost my 3.2%, in order to keep the civil servant haters quiet, but my motivation and production is gone. And I am not the only one. . . . .

    • Anonymousand says:

      No..that 3.2 was the annual amount of inflation 10years ago. Since being frozen, ithe cost of living has increased every year since then! They are actually now more than 15percent behind on COLA payments due!

      • Anonymous says:

        Good.  Overtime this will reduce the real cost of a bloated civil service.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry to say, but welcome to the real world. I work for a bank – the amount of paper work I would have to deal with and hoops and loops I would have to jump through to get permission for a second job, or even for certain investments are prohibitive to even consider anything. I have not receveived a salary increase or cost of living adjustment in 5 years! I have 10 days sick leave allowance, no matter if I am just having the flu or if I have been the victim of a car crash. The bank simply does not care…………..the days where loyalty and hard work means anything are gone, at least when it comes to global companies. An employee is just a number and they do not hesitant to ship you out when you have served your purpose. In my time at the bank, I have seen people made redundant I would have never assumed in my wildest days would be the ones they let go. They have been with the bank for long periods of times, and some where very hard working and dedicated employees.

      So stop the BS that Civil Servants have it especially hard. The believe that everything is hunky dory for private sector employees is a fairy tale!

  11. Michel says:

    I see no problem with that as long there is 0 conflict with what the person does. I would expect them to be Caymanians and or those that are legally allowed to work. Now to make sense in all this that those moonlighter should be excellent at their regular Post and Dept. Because cost of living is out of Wack ! I honestly believe many are Hurting. All is not what it seems everywhere .God Bless, Michel.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Families are suffering simply because the Civil Service salaries are frozen to the Cost-of Living rate from a decade ago.

    The real Cost of Living has risen immensely over that period, and workers are barely managing to stay afloat.. many by having two or three jobs!

    What impact does this have on service levels – and on their children?


    • Anonymous says:

      Learn to save money and cut back not important stuff like expensive car, phone etc. myself who have my salary same for 6 years and live comfortably because I don’t have ipad, don’t use a/c for 24/7 or expensive cars.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you don't like it, leave and get a job in the real world.  But we all know, if you can't stand the heat, join the civil service.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Lookig at all the big expensive cars in the governmnet ca park, I would hasard a guess that most are cash poor due to car loans they can't afford. Top tip, live within your means.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ignorant assumption. Do you know who drive those cars you speak of? or you just assuming they belong to people on the lower end of the salary scale?

      Stop allowing your hatred of some to cloud your ability to rationalize properly. 

  14. Anonymous says:

    Quite biased reporting. "The documents show most are working as waiters, janitors, food handlers, security guards, hair dressers, mechanics, taxi drivers or in shops trying to make ends meet."?  The documents show what second jobs they are doing, not whether they are being done to make ends meet.  We desparetly need to cull the civil service.  If banning second jobs helps that end it should be implemented across the board.

  15. C. Brown says:

    "The reality is many public sector workers are not able to survive on the pay they receive."  

    Low paid workers?  Inadequate salaries?  Could we have some figures?  What are some of these low salaries?

    "Some appear to be holding lucrative positions as directors of companies or running small businesses supplying services to government."

    Appear to be?  Come on, CNS…. Are they or aren't they?

    "No names have been given in these requests and not all the authorities have supplied the same amount of detail but most roles do not appear to be in conflict."

    Most roles do not appear to be in conflict?  What about the ones that are?

    "Several small business owners working as civil servants are also supplying goods and services to their own departments."

    Wow!  What a chance for hanky-panky!

    "Some are sitting as directors on much more lucrative and larger companies where there is clearly even greater potential for abuse."

    Hmmmmm…… How many of them are our high-up elected officials?

  16. Bella says:

    I will never believe it. I have yet to see 1 Caymanian working after regular business hours or on weekends as "waiters, janitors, food handlers, security guards, hair dressers, mechanics, taxi drivers or in shops".  I do know at least one Caymanian "repairing" cars during regular business hours when he is supposed to in "civil service". "Repairing" means that he is not doing it himself,but  has others doing it for him. He is  busy running around taking cars,bringing them back,collecting the money etc. And he is the biggest  Liar I ever met.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bella are you claimimg to know every civil servant.If you are saying that  ,then I believe it is fair to say that you come across as " the biggest  Liar I ever met."

  17. Observer. says:

    Of course they would… I don't blame them one bit. Expats come here and have no bills to pay, no mortgages, no family. They can always send done their monies which is converted into alot of their own money. They are happy to work hard for a shilling and the employers pay them little. But they have no other choice but to work their butts off, kiss arse, or the employers will boot them off the island or report them negative to immigration. Whereas a Caymanian mom doesn't get free boarding and free car, but has to work hard yet maintain her rights as a citizen on the island because she is a Caymanian. The employers don't like Caymanians all relaxed about their rights and they say they are lazy but "we" know where we are coming from. We don't want to do the little jobs out there because we have to pay more. And that is why civil servants are doing two jobs to make endsmeet. Those who can't do two but are looking for higher jobs are looked as prideful because they refuse to pump gas. Foolish mischaracterizations from employers you also you find in the other Caribbean islands. And then you can't blame the expats who would work like a dog for a shilling because alot of them come from very poor country rift with crime and poor conditions. I told a beautiful expat lady one day that if an employer brought her here for sex to cheapen herself, if I was her I would rather uphold my dignity and go back home. She replied to the effect, go back home to what???  

    • Diogenes says:

      Expats have no bills to pay, eh?  What – are they somehow free from paying rent, water, electricty, gas and food?  "we have to pay more.."  …really?  Must have missed those signs at Fosters saying Caymanians pay more.   And you are absolutely right on one point – if an expat wandered off his job to do another one under the table whilst still drawing salary on the first, he would be fired in a heartbeat.  Not sure you can say the same about civil servants. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Diogenes,  if an expat wandered off his job to do another one under the table whilst still drawing salary on the first, he would be fired in a heartbeat.  Not sure you can say the same about civil servants. You seem to be saying that civil servants are all locals,not true. FYI expats make up a big part of the civil service;this includes police officers,doctors ,nurses,teachersand on and on.In fact if you check it out you will probably find that the majority of those moonlighting are expat civil servants.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unless that said expat got permission to work another job which many of them do and no one seems to be having a problem with that… There are also expats with company ownership in one company while they work on permit for another…


  18. Anonymous says:

    but with people working in the nightclubs as security…. i know of this for sure that they dont make it into work until 10am most mornings so it does indeed affect there job and some of these people make good money.