‘Policy Not Likely To Take Effect Until New Year’

December 23, 2018

“Implementation of the English Speaking Work Permit Policy was extended to allow circulation to key stakeholders for consultative purposes,” Minister of National Security Wayne Caines said, adding that “the policy is not likely to take effect until the new year.”

Background

Earlier this year an English Speaking Work Permit Policy was circulated to stakeholders for consultation and in October the Minister said that “depending on the extent of the feedback, I expect that this Policy will be implemented by October 19, 2018.”

On October 3rd, Minister Walton Brown, who then served as the Minister of Home Affairs, said the “policy, currently out for consultation, seeks to ensure that foreign nationals hired by employers to work in serving positions – whether it’s in a restaurant, a hotel or a rest home – can communicate effectively in English.”

Saying it is dangerous to have a non-English speaker employed in a job where one has to read prescriptions or the labels of dangerous chemicals, Minister Brown said the ”job categories that are being targeted by the new policy are those in industries where the job holder interacts with the public or in jobs where lives could be threatened if the person cannot speak or read English” including:

  • [a] Restaurant/Food Service and Hotel Workers: such as cleaner/houseman; room attendant; pot washer; cook/chef; waiter; food and beverage server; maitre’d; kitchen porter; counter person; counter chef;
  • [b] Health Professionals, including but not exclusive of: physician; pharmacist; nurse; nursing aide; physiotherapist; occupational therapist; radiological technician; social worker; and
  • [c] Caregivers in Nursing Jobs: nursemaid/nanny/child caregiver; caregivers of geriatric employers and patients in nursing homes.

“For workers from countries where English is not the first language, a condition would be placed on the work permit under this new Policy stating: ‘Applicant must provide evidence he or she has successfully passed an ‘English as a Second Language’ programme,” the Minister said in October.

“The employer would be required to show evidence that the applicant has successfully passed an ‘English as Second Language’ programme by submitting the document with the work permit application.”

The Minister also explained that Department of Immigration would investigate complaints from the public that work permit holders cannot speak or understand English, saying that if a “complaint is lodged against someone, they would be “brought into the Department of Immigration and given an English language test.”

Deadline Extended To October 19th

Later in October 2018, the Ministry confirmed that the Policy will not come into effect on October 19th, as the deadline for feedback/comments was extended to October 19, and the “Ministry will have to consider the feedback first.”

Minister’s Comment

In response to our queries, Minister of National Security Wayne Caines, who now has responsibility for immigration following the Cabinet Shuffle last month, said, “Implementation of the English Speaking Work Permit Policy was extended to allow circulation to key stakeholders for consultative purposes.

“At the conclusion of the consultation we received extensive feedback from stakeholders. As a result of the valuable information received, the Ministry of National Security and Department of Immigration heads felt it prudent to fully evaluate the contributions to ensure the policy is fair, robust and meets the needs of Bermuda.

“Until we have completed the final policy document and ensured that the internal key stakeholders have the necessary information to give effect to the policy, the policy is not likely to take effect until the new year.”

“Initial notification of the policy will be through a press conference followed immediately by press release. The information will also be posted on www.gov.bm and disseminated through social media.”

“As the policy is still being finalized, it would not be prudent to disseminate information which may later change,” Minister Caines added.

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Comments (15)

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  1. sandgrownan says:

    Absolutely disgraceful. Pandering to the masses. Merry f*****g Christmas.

  2. Gustav says:

    Lot Washer Must Be fluent in english!
    Wow
    How about bermudians ?

    • Mixitup says:

      I’d like to see your cowardly self say that in person. ‘Gustav’. Who names their child Gustav anyways.

      • Question says:

        Racist comment. Not a surprise, coming from you.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Although not very common on this side of the world there’s plenty of people named Gustav.
        I don’t know a single person anywhere named Mixitup though.

    • sage says:

      Be best.

  3. Concerned says:

    A great idea but should be a requirement for all professions.

  4. Baby says:

    Lots of English teaching schools will be opening in the New Year hopefully

    • Wahoo says:

      Good maybe the MPs can use some of their travel expenditure to get to them.

    • Question says:

      “And this is how you order cereal in a foreign country without being a jerk”.

  5. MM says:

    It makes sense to have key areas covered an employer dare not risk intricate parts of his business to non English speaking employees. e

  6. Joe Bloggs says:

    The only problem with that statement is that work permits issued in the last few months have have actually had “Subject to proof of English proficiency” written on them. I have seen it with my own eyes.

    That sort of makes the Minister’s statement … questionable?

  7. Under Siege says:

    Bermuda is finally getting a backbone. Time to be a nation and not only a pitstop for other nations. We should have a handle on Bermudian customs, traditions, and way of life instead of adopting everyone else’s views and ideals of what Bermuda and its people are to be.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Ok, and what Bermudian customs, traditions and way of life are you talking about? Because my ways are different from those of my parents.

  8. BermieBorn says:

    ‘Applicant must provide evidence he or she has successfully passed an ‘English as a Second Language’ programme,”

    Will the same standards be applied to all applicants? Given the abysmal state of our public education system a significant number of new job seekers are sadly ill equipped with basic math and English skills not to mention deficient social graces.