Chamber, BEC Welcomes End Of Term Limits

January 31, 2013

[Updated] The Chamber of Commerce is pleased that Term Limits have been abolished as they feel the policy has been a “major impediment” for businesses to grow and contributed to the reduction in people living here, Chamber of Commerce President Ronnie Viera said.

Yesterday Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy announced that Government will eliminate the Term Limit Policy “with immediate effect.”

Under the Term Limits Policy work permit holders were not eligible to stay on the island for more than 6 years unless they received an exemption. Minister Fahy stressed that it is the Work Permit Policy that protects Bermudian jobs, not the Term Limit Policy, and said they ”believe that the elimination of the policy will help spark economic growth and create employment opportunities for Bermudians.”

In response to the announcement Chamber of Commerce President Ronnie Viera said, “The Chamber is pleased that the Term Limits policy has been abolished, as this is what we have been requesting for some time publicly and privately with Government officials.

“We have always maintained that the policy has been a major impediment for businesses to grow on the island and one of the significant reasons for the reduction in the number of people living and working here.

“This decline in economic activity has severely affected our members and many others in the community. When people move and are living in Bermuda they buy groceries, buy clothing, eat out at restaurants, pay rent, buy gas for the car, pay health insurance, buy furniture, pay school fees, hire a plumber when needed, buy water etc.

“All of this spending results in jobs for Bermudians in all sectors and puts money in our pockets. To be clear the Chamber continues to support the need for work permits and the protection of jobs for qualified Bermudians, however we believe that the removal of the term limits policy is one important step towards our economic recovery,” concluded Mr Viera.

Update 12.00pm: Commenting the announcement on the elimination of the Term limit policy, the Bermuda Employers’ Council said that it “removes a stumbling block for International Business [IB] to stay and to choose Bermuda for its operations.”

A statement from the Council said, “This decision with our sophisticated business support infrastructure will make the Island significantly more competitive in the international arena. The Island earns an estimated 80% of its income from IB and the more we can do to keep IB here and to improve upon it the better.

“We recognize the Term Limit policy was introduced to inhibit long-term residents; work permits were considered separately. However, the consequences of the policy in our view compounded the impact of the recession.

“Changing the policy on its own will not solve our economic problems. It is a meaningful message to the world we are seriously open for business. It provides confidence in Bermuda.”

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Comments (69)

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  1. Yea ok...I see pigs flying says:

    “When people move and are living in Bermuda they buy groceries, buy clothing, eat out at restaurants, pay rent, buy gas for the car, pay health insurance, buy furniture, pay school fees, hire a plumber when needed, buy water etc”

    YOU FORGOT KEEPS THE BERMUDIAN UNEMPLOYED. My lady is a Hr Manager, she tells me all the time it’s about how the company puts forth the idea that the IB person is better then the Bermudian. Which is a big lie, they just want who they want to hire and the Immigration Board and Minister can’t do $hi^ about it, but grant approval. It’s always about the money.

    • Bermy Gooner says:

      But yet, you still have a job…amazing

    • ..... says:

      Name ONE instance when an equally qualified bermudian lost the job to an expat.

      Just ONE person.

      If your lady is in charge of HR and that is going on, Then she is NOT doing her job or being pro-active. Instead it seems if she is sitting around like most bermudians waiting for someone else to do something….

      • Hmmmmm says:

        Are you serious? It has only been in the last few years that the phrase “this position is advertised pursuant to a work permit renewal” has been left out of adverts. What do you think that phrase means? “Bermudians need not apply”. Adverts are crafted to deter Bermudians from applying and designed to ensure that those who do either won’t get an interview or get lip service when they do. My son has an MBA from an Ivy League school and had 24 applications out in 2008. He got one interview and was told that the interview was so they could justify to Immigration their request to retain the non-Bermudian they had on staff. He left Bermuda and is now living and working in his field in the USA. How dare you insinuate that this kind of thing never happens.

        • ..... says:

          I too hold a masters degree and was forced to take a job I am over qualified for (after 80+ applications). At the end of the day no matter what country you are in you need to start low.

          Alot of people expect alot with a masters degree however it’s the foot in the door that really makes a difference.

          If there’s a will there’s a way. Exercise connections.

          Has your son tried to gain experience abroad first? This will certainly help if applying for a job at an IB company.

        • ..... says:

          Also I highly doubt they brought your son in for an interview and specifically told him this was only happening to please immigration…. If tha is the truth you need to expose this companies name and the name of the interviewer who said that.

          • Hmmmmm says:

            LISTEN TO YOURSELF. “EXERCISE CONNECTIONS” ???! So my son and others like him who come from working class backgrounds and not the cocktail circuit and who have no connections are shyt out of luck? No level playing field for them. Well damn. FYI, the company was reported along with the interviewer. He happens to be one of those folks who you and the OBA think should have free rein in the name of being “welcoming” and so he went untouched, even by the PLP. My son returns to visit only. He has moved to where his expertise is valued; and where he won’t have to exercise connections but be dealt with on his own merit.

            • ... says:

              Ok…so who is the employer and who was the interviewer?

              Life is never a level playing field no matter what country you live in.

              Now that your son is abroad he will have international experience and will have a leg up on others when he returns. Sacrifices must be made.

              Surely he knows someone who he can connect/network with and/or get advice from, for example, friends, relatives, family friends etc.

            • Mad Dawg says:

              Your son got treated that way under the PLP government, and while term limits were in place.

            • Knowledge says:

              What did he get a masters in?

              I think people forget – because of the wealth, and extremely high standard of living we have achieved due to the benefits of IB in our community – that we live on a 22 square ,Ile island in the Atlantic Ocean with 60k people. When we go to these expensive US colleges we can study whatever we want. It’s an amazing time for kids that work hard. They can pursue knowledge around anything they are passionate about. However the needs of our island are small and niche. We can only sustain a certain amount of doctors lawyers and engineers.

        • whatever says:

          If your son applied for 24 jobs and only got one interview, I would guess that perhaps he was applying for jobs that he wasn’t suitably qualified for.

          I’m not touching the comment about the interview with a ten foot pole.

        • Zombie Apocalypse says:

          …and in the past few years, when you’ve seen those advertisements, the PLP were in power. Your son, with an MBA, had nowhere to work in Bermuda under the PLP.

          Maybe things will improve, or at least stop getting worse.

        • Um jus sayin.... says:

          Yup…it happens!!! People who aren’t in the business have NO IDEA!!! Work permit policy isn’t adhered too…people are so blinded when this doesn’t affect them!

      • Tommy Chong says:

        OH! OH! I CAN! I CAN!

        spot restaurant ex-workers, parakeet restaurant ex-workers, portofino restaurant ex-workers, the reefs ex-workers, four ways ex-workers & riddell’s bay golf club ex-workers are some of the many workers who have lost jobs to foreigners.

        • Zombie Apocalypse says:

          But I take it all those Bermudians are now working in your restaurant, which is unionised, where you sell burgers for $4 each, where you only employ Bermudians, and where all of your employees earn enough to buy their own apartment. Since you’re an expert in the restaurant business.

        • ..... says:

          Not meeting company standards and giving the job to someone else who can, foreigner or not, is fair game.

          Working in the service industry requires you to be the customers “b**ch” which most bermudians will NOT do… Ive done it before and it sucks putting on a smile everyday day and pretending your enjoying clearing dishes etc…
          Foreigners are so greatful for their job they actually have real smiles and are not pretending (except for a few I know personally lol).

          • Tommy Chong says:

            The locals that I mentioned met company standards for years so I don’t know what you’re on. At least even with their strong Bermudian accents they still had a better pronunciation of the english language then those who took their jobs. When I want fried rice its fried rice not fwide wice.

      • pebblebeach says:

        Agree with you 100%…No worthy HR Manager in Bermuda would allow that to happen…I don’t buy it…

        • Tommy Chong says:

          Why not? HR managers are still human & susceptible to buckling under peer pressure of the rest of the company. How about the non IB businesses in Bermuda who don’t have HR do you think there are no Business owners out there that share the prejudice that a foreign worker is always better than a local one?

        • Yea ok...I see pigs flying says:

          Pebblebeach I do not come on here to lie, It’s bad but it’s the truth friend. People have morgages to pay. People cheat, lie and steal to make money everyday. Greed is a bitch. Money good and bad moves us.

          • Bermy Gooner says:

            If work permits protected BDian jobs then why are so many BDians unemployed?

            • ... says:

              most Bermudians are uneducated and/or do not have the motivation to provide whats required for the position.

              • Tommy Chong says:

                Well I guess your “educated” enough to know what a prejudice prick is? HUH! You picture would probably be in an encyclopedia beside either one of these words.

                • ... says:

                  sad but true

                  • Tommy Chong says:

                    Yes tis sad but true that your a prejudice prick but at least you’re admitting it. Some never make it pass denial so you’re making progress.

          • Bermyman says:

            I am a Bermudian and I work in IB, I have worked 2 different roles in 2 different companies in Bermuda and have been afforded every opportunity as a Bermudian in both organizations. Not only that I have been asked to seek out and hire talented Bermudians for additional roles within both companies. The game is about talent and potential, it is not about doing a bunch of exams and then walking into a company with your hand out. You have to work harder than that and most of the expats that work here had to battle the rat race in places like NYC and London before they could get a gig in Bermuda. These businesses compete like sports teams and they want the best players. Bermudians who are up to scratch will make it just fine, those that are not will not!

            • Um jus sayin.... says:

              Expats also come here without responsibilities….when a Bdn starts their career makes strides, then decides to settle get married and have a family…or already has these and then tries to compete with single expat…yes survival of the fittest but who you think will win in the eyes of the company!

              Agree with you wholeheartedly, just want all things considered!

      • Always Watching says:

        not a very bright thing to same , it happens all the time.
        However, we need to report this instances. But surely everyone must agree that killing term limits is a good thing for the economy at this time.. to be continued.

    • Seriously that thick? says:

      @pigs flying – “your lady” will be UNEMPLOYED if the IB company that hired her as their HR Manager leaves the island. Think about that if you aren’t too pig-headed!

      • Yea ok...I see pigs flying says:

        Don’t hate the messenger hate the message. You really think she’s not going to do what the CEO wants her to perform. What and miss out on her 6 figure pay check and bonus at years end. Most people in IB know what’s going on behind close doors but fail to report this to Immigration for fear of being black listed from other IB business. Remember know one hires rats. Like I said it’s all about the money thus why she will not report this……. her 6 figure pay check that we both benefit from think about it. I have worked my blue collar job for over 20 years I’m good with my hands. Now let me get back to work my lunch break is over. Ask the white collar Bermudians that work in these areas, they know what I’m talking about. Know one is giving up there big pay checks to talk!!! Thus the money train keeps moving.

        • ... says:

          If they know what is going on and dont report it…then really, they ARE the problem.

          Tell your “lady” to grow some and speak up

    • K says:

      So, we gave 1 job to a foreigner who then goes and contributes to 6 jobs done by a Bermudian (gas, plumber, water, etc.) and you have a problem with this? You want Bermudians to hold ALL jobs in Bermuda? Impossible.

    • swing voter says:

      Idiot, if the right people are allowed to set up business here, you’ll see bermudian employment rise. The idea is to allow people that can drive business to set up hassel free, Not granting truck drivers/mechanics applications like we’ve seen in the recent past.

    • Serious though says:

      Free education, free bus rides, a better health care system than USA, ..on and on ..uuummmm wonder why?

  2. jt says:

    Well done OBA. Keep up the good work. More positive action please.

  3. Claudio says:

    I recall the OBA saying term limits are the reason why IB downsized. So with the removal of term limits Businesses should be hiring like its no tomorrow right?

    • Truth (Original) says:

      No. Once a job leaves Bermuda, its gone. The Company has already bourne the expense of shipping it elsewhere, they are not going to pay to bring it back. At a critical time, when we needed to keep jobs on the island the PLP helped/forced many of them to leave.

      What we may see is modest growth in jobs as and when needed but with many job creators gone to friendlier jurisdictions, it is more difficult for Bermuda.

      We shot ourselves in the foot.

      • Tommy Chong says:

        Ah yes! Its all plp’s fault & nothing AT ALL to do with high operation cost in Bermuda. You must be some sort of international IB big wig like minister fahy to get this type of insider information. How coincidental it is how many of the companies we lost set up shop in cayman just after their new business area was built with rent costs of $65 a square foot. By the way being the IB big wig you are you must know what the cost of renting an office is in Bermuda. Don’t you?

        • Bermy Gooner says:

          Cayman is far from cheap my friend…trust me…

          • Tommy Chong says:

            Looks a heck of a lot cheaper than Bermuda



            Unless you can tell me somewhere in Bermuda I can get a Burger & fries for $4.99 & rent a waterside office for $45 a square foot.

            • Bermy Gooner says:

              Have you ever been to Cayman? Or is pickign and choosing cheap options your way of debating?

              I can get a beer for $3 in BDA at several clubs around the island…

              Guess we are cheaper then we are given credit for then…

              • Tommy Chong says:

                Yes I’ve been to cayman & the great thing there is that picking & choosing cheap options is possible. Heck they even have a Burger King & Wendy’s there if you want to go real cheap $1 junior wopper. There is no competitive pricing here unlike there even the wholesale here is sky high.

                $3 beer? Maybe an elephant at happy hour or maybe where those wankster boys hang out but who wants to frequent there.

        • Bermyman says:

          Why do we have high operating costs in Bermuda? maybe you want to ask PLP member Vince Ingham the answer to that?

          The PLP did not put any pressure on the monopoly BELCO to modernise and reduce the Islands Energy costs, which is the main contributor to operation cost for every business and house hold in this Island.

        • Truth (Original) says:

          @ Tommy- What you are failing to recognize is that operating costs are predictable- you can plan for them. They form part of the loss ratio (expenses + losses). What creates more havoc is uncertainty. If an Underwriter the generates 50M in premium a year is in a state of flux because the Govt is mucking about with term limits, that creates more of a concern to a Company than rent. Now multiply that 1 underwrtier by 4 and you can see how serious an issue uncertainty is. You don’t have the proper scale or scope for this argument.

          • Tommy Chong says:

            Who are you to tell me I don’t have the proper scale or scope for this argument. YOU DON’T KNOW ME!!! What makes you think you are any more able then me to understand? Firstly you don’t even know how to explain or apply loss ratio properly. Hopefully your not in insurance or at least any that I’m connected to. EXPENSES PLUS LOSSES!!! Do you know how daft that reads. Hopefully your not an accountant either because you’d do a botch job a balancing books probably adding assets & liabilities together. In loss ratio there’s no addition just subtraction & devision to get a percent. Even if you applied loss ratio properly you’d still be wrong because you’ve forgot to ad the cost of renting furniture plus computers plus electricity plus staff insurance plus wages plus bonuses plus all the other perks 50M a year underwriters get to the $12000 a month or more for office rent before subtracting or dividing. You just like that numbty fahy don’t have a clue how proper planning for a legislation is done. Just because you don’t like how a builder has built a house you don’t take a wrecking ball to it you renovate. Many other countries including cayman, switzerland & ireland have term limits just they have made different term limits for different professions making the ones for IB more lenient than the ones for non professionals but the minister didn’t do you it logically like them instead he wants to be billy the kid & go shooting off at the hip.

      • Joonya says:

        WE (I) did nothing. Give that credit to Burch.

  4. the 8th wonder says:

    why do we keep painting the picture that even qulaified Bermudians are not worth s##t, but we study in the same places all the expats do gaining the same degrees only to be told in your own home that your still not good enough, so we now abolish term limits and cross our fingers that the so called job creators will create jobs for more expats.
    Thanks Bermuda for looking out for me a follow Bermudian.

    • Bermyman says:

      Go abroad and get some experience in the big pond and come back a big fish. As a Bermudian you and live and work anywhere in the U.K. I.B. business do not bring expats in to do entry level jobs.

  5. Bermy Gooner says:

    It is interesting to see so many people arguing against an industry that supplies 90 cents of every 1 dollar taken in by the Government.

    Keep on pushing them away with your xenophobic and hateful attitudes and see what happens to this island.

    Keep on pushing…

  6. Not Fooled says:

    The OBA will sellout Bermudians to line their own pockets!!

    • Bermy Gooner says:

      Just like the PLP did? More work permits issued under their reign than any other previous Government.

    • ..... says:

      Well that lining is now only 90% of what the PLP lined their pockets with…

  7. tidbit says:

    Unfortunately there are HR persons that are like that. But worse sstill is their clerks/secretaries who put words in for a friend, who is not suitable for the job( check some of the Hotel HR Departments, just one example).

    We have not moved away from the concept “who knows who”, “family connections”, “aceboy. acegirl”. And once they are in the job and confirmed they are hard to dismiss because they will take you to the Union.

  8. Mervin Dickinson says:

    Bermuda for Bermudians has lef the building with the coming of the OBA

    • jt says:

      Bermuda for Bermudians? 8,000 civil service workers and thousands unemployed – what Bermuda for Bermudians? SMH people can’t fathom where our money and jobs have to come from – no escaping it – no need to begrudge it – benefit from it and feel lucky if we can acquire it.

  9. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    @ Tommy Chong: You are right! Those are the jobs that most Bermudians, highly educated or not, can do, either as primary job or ‘on-the-side’ income. THOSE jobs should ONLY go to a Bermudian unless it is specialized cuisine, and even then a Bermudian could be trained.
    It always mystifies me that people get so bent out of shape about the possibility of highly-skilled or specialized IB jobs going to non-Bermudians, when the waitressing, potwashing, office/restaurant cleaning jobs are all being filled by non-Bermudians, whose permits were all cleared during the previous administration – more than any previous administration. That doesn’t seem to be very ‘family’ focused to me.

  10. cant fool me says:


    • jt says:

      keep it up – hope you like bananas and chub – and lots of them

  11. Come On Man!! says:

    I have spoken to many restaurant owners they have no reason to lie to me. They say they have Bermudians working for them, but some days they don’t come in to work or they are always late they complain about every thing. One owner just after Xmas told me his foreign reliable worker had to go back home because of the term limit. He hired a Bermudian who came work for 2 days then didn’t show up again. He had to send one of the cooks out on delivery’s. How can you run a business like that? Some Bermudians want jobs but don’t want to put in the effort to keep the job and become unreliable. Some Bda workers, not all, need to get their damn act together. We are a spoiled society who think that everything has to be given to us on a silver platter. Most of these foreign workers come from nothing and are trying to make a better life for themselves and their family’s. That’s why they bust their a$$e$. We need to pull up our socks do a good job so there would be no need for the foreign worker in most industry’s.

  12. Bermudian Momma says:

    I know a Bermudian recently made redundant – the company that made her redundant had an entry level position available – she applied and was interviewed. She was informed that she was over qualified. She knew that she was over qualified but she needs a JOB so that the bills can be paid!
    I applied for a position in a department I formerly worked in; I knew I did not have all of the academic qualifications but based on the advertisement – it was basically the role I had performed for 5+ yrs. I interviewed, was not successful due to my educational deficiencies. I later found out it was a work permit renewal. For the record, I was and still am actively working on the deficiencies. I called my HR department and about a succession plan to replace this person in due course. With the elimination of the term limits it is now a non-issue. Where is the incentive for business to put in place succession plans to replace “guest” workers?
    This is not solely an IB issue!

  13. Pilot001 says:

    let them all leave and you haters that don’t like it can leave with them!

  14. Bobmarlin says:

    OBA all the way.
    Keep bringing these good initiatives forward.
    OBA all the way!