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Working in Cayman

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in the Cayman Islands.

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Working in Cayman

Post Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:20 am

People seeking employment here need to be aware that Work Permits are issued to employers, not to employees. It’s an indentured-labour system, and as a general statement foreign workers can switch employers only with the permission of those employers AND one of the politically appointed labour-control committees and bureaucracies. Probably a bit like in the Arabian Gulf states. Professionals (accountants, engineers, etc) have few problems, normally, but unskilled workers are usually limited to the occupations and employers they start with. Jamaican domestic servants call the system “near slavery”, and with some (not all) employers of unskilled foreign workers that’s an accurate description. (The Philippines government put Cayman on its blacklist a few months ago, and I think it’s still there.) The law is always on the side of the employers.

All three of our Islands are wonderfully pleasant places to live, if you overlook the exploitation that exists, and if you're not one of the exploited! The money is excellent, and free of Income Tax. 34 years ago we came here for two or three years with an infant son, and were so comfortable that we stayed.

Prospective newcomers would be wise to expect a bit of a culture shock. Human and civil rights are only selectively applied to expats; for instance, breaching local censorship rules can result in deportation without any kind of hearing or appeal. I have spent decades trying to get things improved, but with minimal success. Protectionism is an integral part of the system, and promotion is not always based on competence. The subject is covered in several of my blog entries (www.barlowscayman.blogspot.com, or check the Blogs section in the menu above). The relevant posts aren't identified, I’m afraid; you'll just have to go by the titles.


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