PLP queries residency for supermarket staff
The Incentives for Job Makers Act, approved in 2013, has been subjected to misuse, according to the Progressive Labour Party.
The legislation was aimed at easing the procedure for key employers to obtain a Permanent Resident's Certificate, in return for boosting job opportunities and training for Bermudians.
However, Walton Brown, the Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, issued a statement this evening querying its extension to supermarkets.
Mr Brown's statement follows:
“The PLP is extremely concerned that the Incentive for Job Makers Act is being stretched far beyond its original intended use.
“The law was introduced by the PLP to strengthen the international business sector to provide security to key executives to ensure these businesses continue operating in Bermuda to maintain and expand jobs for Bermudians.
“However, by allowing the MarketPlace, a six-decades old local grocery store chain, to apply for PRCs for five non-Bermudian executives, the OBA government has roamed far away from supporting international business. Without a rationale for this extension, the OBA's granting of PRCs to these men would be a manipulation of immigration policy reminiscent of the UBP's controversial 1970s policies.
“The OBA must explain why the Job Makers Act is being exploited to include local grocery stores, where Bermudian jobs have existed for decades. If the OBA awards PRCs to these men, their jobs will no longer need to be advertised and thus unavailable to Bermudians living here and Bermudians abroad who may be looking to return home. The PLP believes that all businesses, but especially local business such as the Market Place, should be looking to promote Bermudians. If the OBA grants these PRCs, it will continue its pattern of putting the interest of non-Bermudians ahead of Bermudians who may be looking for opportunities for advancement in their country of birth.”