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Immigration Meeting on the Brac

Published 16th April 9, 12:0am

Immigration Department officials will be visiting Cayman Brac this Saturday (18 April) to discuss the Accreditation Programme for Employers with business operators and residents. The meeting will take place at 4pm in the Aston Rutty Centre.

The accreditation programme is geared toward holding business owners accountable and rewarding best practices; advancing Caymanians in the workforce, and preventing work-related abuse of non-Caymanian workers.

Cayman Brac's meeting follows a series of similar public discussions across Grand Cayman as well as private sessions with business leaders and industry groups.

Public meetings were held in West Bay, George Town and the eastern districts. Private sector meetings took place with the executive members of the Chamber of Commerce; the Tourism Association; and the Human Resources Society.

Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson said that the Grand Cayman meetings were valuable in fostering deeper understanding of the programme among key stakeholders and in providing the department with useful feedback from the business community. He said that his staff welcomed the "frank and open discussions."

While the programme was generally well received, Mr Manderson disclosed that a key concern emerging from the meetings was that small businesses would be disadvantaged in reaching the higher tiers of the system, because they lacked the abilities and resources common to larger organizations.

He said that following the final Brac meeting, some of the programme's elements will be reviewed to assess how identified concerns can be addressed.

The accreditation programme is based on a four-tiered points system that requires businesses to have a minimum of 350 points before they can qualify to apply for new and renewal permits.

The maximum points any company can attain is 850, making such businesses eligible for certain rewards and specialised services.

Accreditation criteria includes compliance with health and pensions laws; maintaining a high standard of business ethics; talent development programmes; employment practices; community programmes; development of a currently under-developed sector, and evidence of Caymanian ownership.

(GIS)