WORC improvement recommendations December 3, 2020
Recommendation #1 Implement a slimmed-down version of the long-considered “Good Corporate Citizen” programme. Apply simple criteria using existing information so that GCC’s can be easily identified For example, companies must pay a $10,000 fee and demonstrate some or all of the following: An approved Business Staffing Plan A high proportion of Caymanian employees A work permit approval rate of more than 95% A track record of training and employing Caymanians A clean track record including no labour/immigration related fines or judgements A willingness to maintain detailed recruitment records for review This would allow the department to begin to expedite applications from companies that are demonstrably low risk.
Recommendation #2 Take a risk-based approach to reduce the processing time for low-risk work permits and allow the department to focus its resources and efforts on those roles most likely to be filled by Caymanians. • Determine the minimum procedures required to approve a low-risk application and perform them upon receipt. • Deem the following applications low risk: • Applications by GCC’s • Positions with no Caymanian applicants • Renewals for an incumbent of long tenure (5 years +) • Amendments (which are very rarely declined)
Recommendation #3 Determine a target lead time for each application in consultation with stakeholders and instruct the department to recommend further process/regulation/legislative changes that can be implemented to achieve the target time by a certain date given the resource constraints in place. Bring in external consultants if required to model the processing time under various scenarios and recommend improvements required. â€˘ To minimize the drag on our economy, target wait times should be proportionate to the impact of a delay on the stakeholders. ďƒ˜ For example, renewals are low priority because permit holders may continue to work while the application is processed. Therefore, the impact of a long wait time is minimal. ďƒ˜ Express temporary permits on the other hand are normally urgent because the employee is unable to work till the permit is granted.
Recommendation #4 Hire and train temporary contract staff that can be dedicated to reducing backlogs. This will mitigate delays resulting from the surge in applications when the island reopens to tourism and business visitors
Recommendation #5 Change/clarify the rules for temporary work permits to allow employers to seek a temporary work permit while they advertise the role and, if unsuccessful in identifying a suitable Caymanian, prepare a full work permit. Cap the use of such temporary permits at three months (i.e. enough to allow a full permit application). In such circumstances, require the role to be advertised continuously for eight weeks instead of two to improve the chances of attracting a Caymanian for the role.
Recommendation #6 Direct WORC to resume issuing multi-year permits for GCCâ€™s to reduce pressure on the system in 2021. While many in our society believe the best way to improve employment prospects for Caymanians is to frustrate employersâ€™ efforts to employ expatriates, history has demonstrated time and time again that the real driver of Caymanian employment opportunity is in fact a thriving economy. For our economy to thrive, it must be allowed to thrive. Again, we are not asking for every work permit to be approved, but simply that whatever decision is to be made, be made quickly and fairly.
Thank you for your attention