Speaking at a press conference recently, Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley stated that their expertise and experience means that they can step in and provide ‘immediate and direct support’ to the department.
According to Minister Wheatley, the task force is comprised of Janice Rymer (a former Labour Commissioner), Dawn O’Neal George, Marieta Headley, Myrna Samuels, Reginald Hodge, Ernest Potter, Devon Penn and Keida Williams.
“It is envisioned that with the hiring of these additional persons for a one-month period, not only will it help to clear the work permit applications from the system, but it will also bring work permit processing times back in line with the department’s service standards by the week of April 18,” Minister Wheatley said.
He added that the government is very focused on ensuring that individuals do not lose their ability to work because of the lack of work permits. The minister further said the government is working diligently to rectify the problems in a short time span.
He also said that, at times, members of the task force may have to call employers or employees for them to furnish missing information or documents that should have already been uploaded into the system.
“We are asking you to be receptive to their calls and provide the relevant information expeditiously and in the format that they may prescribe as this will allow for the processing of your long-awaited application to be finalised,” he explained.
Wheatly advised that in order to ensure that no application is overlooked in the system, officials are also requesting that employers submit a list with the names of all their outstanding work permit applicants if they have not heard from any of the processing officers at the department or any member of the Online Work Permit Processing Taskforce regarding their uploaded applications.
He said this submission should be made along with the assigned application ID numbers. The email address to which these submissions are to be made is firstname.lastname@example.org
“Please utilise the name of the business/employer as the subject, for example, ‘Outstanding Work Permit Application(s) – White Sandy Villas’, when submitting your emails,” Wheatley explained.
Once a work permit renewal has been approved, the minister said, an appointment to collect will be set and an email or text message will be generated informing the applicant or employer of their scheduled time and date to collect the work permit.
He noted that employers or employees will also be informed via email or a telephone call once a new permit or new change of employer application has been approved or denied.