September 22, 2020

The Editor Speaks: It is a welcome change to actually applaud something coming out of the government these days.

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In a new report the Term Limit Review Committee (TLRC) has recommended that government abolish the key employee policy and allow everyone who wants to stay the right to apply for permanent residency once they reach their eighth year. (See our story yesterday [19] “Statement by the Hon. Premier and Minister of Finance, Tourism & Development on Term Limit Review for Legislative Assembly on 15th June 2012”.)

The committee says the key employee mechanism creates an unsatisfactory and artificial vetting system for long-term residents which is effectively controlled by employers and is unfair to employees. I have to add that it is also unfair to employers because often someone in immigration, who knows absolutely nothing about your business, arbitrates and makes the decision that the person you say is a key employee is not.

Other recommendations include allowing all workers to apply for the right to reside permanently in the islands, between year 7 and 8; revising the current permanent resident points system to ensure that it meets current Government economic and social objectives; and setting a fixed term limit of 10 years that if a person has not obtained the right to permanently reside (PR) they will have to leave the jurisdiction for a minimum of not less than one year.

The one I really applaud is the implementation of term limits for Government employees to ensure there is a level playing field. Where has there ever been a level playing field between government and the private sector?

We all need educating, of course. The TLRC says the public needs to be properly educated about the government’s overall immigration strategy, while at the same time promoting the training and upward mobility of Caymanians. Those coming to work in Cayman must also understand the fixed-term policy and the criteria on which long-term residency can be acquired. The workers must understand that the break in stay will be considered a legal break in their residence and will disallow the right to apply to permanently reside until they once again attain the qualifying period if they return to the islands after the break. So, there!

And government is also told it needs to settle on a policy for the long run which provides certainty and predictability for employer and employee and which avoids the uncertainty of constantly moving goalposts. Wow. Great applause on that.

However, our premier, Hon. McKeeva Bush said that Cabinet had not yet accepted or discussed the recommendations.

The public is being asked to submit comments on the report and Mr. Bush is waiting for your input.

“Given the high profile nature of this subject and to ensure openness and transparency within my government, I am tabling this report today in order to provide the public with an opportunity to review and provide comments,” he said.

If you haven’t read the TLRC please do. I repeat where you can find it on iNews Cayman. Yesterday’s [19] “Statement by the Hon. Premier and Minister of Finance, Tourism & Development on Term Limit Review for Legislative Assembly on 15th June 2012”. Go to our green tab bar just below our iNews header and click “NEWS”. Drop down menu click “local” and you will find it under date 19 June. Or you can just type in “term limit review” in our search window at top right above our iNews header.

 

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