Work permit breach occurred under Simpson-Miller watch

Simpson Miller Work Permit Breach
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Simpson Miller administration Work permit breach

In the wake of a damning report alleging administrative breaches by the State that allowed foreigners to snare local jobs, a leading trade unionist has warned that every effort be made to prioritise qualified Jamaican workers.

Read Jamaica ranked 5th most corrupt Caribbean country

President of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, Kavan Gayle, insists that skilled locals should not be leapfrogged by foreigners to work on projects financed by overseas-based investors or multinationals.

“If you have areas in which we don’t have competence, we have to bring in foreign nationals and then have a system in place to train Jamaicans to take on these roles,” he said in a Gleaner interview Tuesday evening.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security breached its internal administrative guidelines in relation to the granting of 150 work permits to Mexican nationals for the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Hotel construction and renovation project, Integrity Commission Director of Investigation (DI) Kevon Stephenson has charged in a special report to Parliament.

Stephenson said that the process that led to the issuance of work permits to foreign nationals, during the period August 2014 to February 2015, was irregular and lacked transparency.

The alleged work permit breach occurred under the Simpson Miller administration.

“The DI’s conclusion is premised on the failure of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to adhere to the established requirements as stipulated in the referenced administrative guidelines, which specifically required the submission of employer and employee details by or on behalf of the applicant, prior to the issuance of a work permit,” the report stated.

The internal administrative guidelines specifically require an applicant and/or their prospective employer to submit employer and employee details as part of their application prior to being issued with a work permit.

On March 16, 2015, the then Office of the Contractor General initiated a probe into the matter, which was later concluded by the Integrity Commission.

Work permit breach | Lead Stories  Jamaica Gleaner


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Dean Nestor

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