This comes into effect today, Monday September 14, 2020, according to Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) while addressing concerns and questions from persons during a virtual community meeting held last evening, September 13, 2020.
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has urged employers to be in compliance with the laws of the Territory.
“I have had several discussions with my other ministers, my permanent secretaries, with the Inland Revenue Department, with the premier and everybody and what we have decided to do against our better judgement, because we should not be doing these things, we have decided to relax that requirement for the time being.”
Hon Wheatley said the decision was taken because Government did not want to be a hindrance to businesses becoming more “viable and more profitable and functioning better.”
“So I am saying it now, we are going to relax the immediate requirement for good standing for the renewal for any work permit in general. So effective Monday go and apply to Inland Revenue and once you bring the receipt that you have applied we will accept your work permit knowing that you will not have the certificate.”
The Minister said if it is found that the Certificate of Good Standing is not good the Labour Department is going to figure out how to proceed “because a company should not be allowed to function without these things being up to date or a proper or adequate payment plan of how you are going to get yourself in order.”
Explaining the reason for the temporary relaxing of the requirements for work permit renewals, Hon Wheatley said the Inland Revenue Department has been overwhelmed with the requests, resulting in a backlog at Immigration Department.
“But business in the country like businesses in any other country must be done right.
“We are in a pandemic. We have to think differently about things. One of the things that our Premier as our leader wanted us to understand is that it’s not business as usual, it is business unusual right now. We are into a new normal, a lot of things that we took for granted we can no longer take for granted.”
Hon Wheatley added that government has to tighten up on a lot of its systems to ensure that they are collecting the revenues that is due to the Territory as it mainly runs on revenues and taxes generated internally or externally.