Burt denies work-permit rumours

  • David Burt, the Premier (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    David Burt, the Premier (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Suggestions that a blanket denial of work permit renewals is in force are wrong, the Premier has said.

David Burt emphasised the island’s work permit policy was unchanged, and that Jason Hayward, the new Minister of Labour, would speak about procedures at the Covid-19 press briefing tonight.

But Mr Burt said the Government would not grant permission for people whose work permits had not been renewed to remain on the island and look for another job.

He added they would be told to “settle their affairs and leave the country”.

Mr Burt said there had been concerns that Wayne Caines, the national security minister and responsible for immigration before a Cabinet reshuffle, had denied some work permits after the immigration department reopened under a relaxation of the Covid-19 rules. But Mr Burt said: “I think this matter has been overstated. There were reports and rumours last week that the Government had denied every single work permit that had come up for renewal, and that’s just not the case.”

He added there had been applications by companies for permanent resident’s certificates for staff that had been turned down.

Mr Burt said: “We told those companies no. You must demonstrate you are actually serious about not only hiring Bermudians ... but also promoting Bermudians to positions in the company.”

He added: “Lo and behold, after us holding the line, we saw Bermudians being promoted inside of certain businesses.”

Mr Caines said work-permit renewal applications had been received at the Department of Immigration in February, before the lockdown to contain Covid-19 in March.

He added: “In many cases, we told people they would have to readvertise, because we felt there were numbers of Bermudians who could fill the aforementioned posts.”

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Published Jun 16, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 16, 2020 at 8:06 am)

Burt denies work-permit rumours

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