Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Bermuda to introduce new work permit policy

Published:Thursday | January 1, 2015 | 11:30 PM

Bermuda's Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy says government's revamped now work permit policy will come into effect at the beginning of March.

The implementation of the policy was halted after unexpected problems developed with a specific category of permit called the Bermuda Employment Visa, which has since been abandoned.

"It was about finding the right balance between assisting international business in getting the best employees they can in a competitive marketplace, while also ensuring that qualified Bermudians are given the opportunities we deserve," Fahy said on Wednesday.

"A balance which, I believe, has now been found due to the extensive consultative process."

The new rules include the introduction of the Global Entrepreneur Work Permit to allow individuals who are planning start-up companies in Bermuda to apply for work permits.

Permit holders can live in the island while conducting their business planning.

The changes provide for a Business Work Permit for new companies to Bermuda to obtain work permits without advertising during the first six months of their existence. The permit will be available for new exempted companies on a limited basis.

The new policy also requires employers to advertise all jobs on the Government Job Board for at least eight consecutive days.

Under the new rules, businesses may be asked to participate in initiatives led by the National Training Board to boost the number of Bermudians employed in job categories where there are high numbers of work permit holders.

The policy was put together after widespread consultation with industry leaders as well as a raft of stakeholder groups.

"Overall, we believe these changes will demonstrate to the local and international community that Bermuda continues to be open for business, as we continue to cut down on the red tape which hinders our growth as an international business domicile," Fahy added.

"I believe that the policy changes will make employers even more responsible and cognizant of their responsibilities to the local workforce."

- CMC