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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Online Work Permit Processing Halted

Online Work Permit Processing Halted

The Government has halted the online work permit application system following a public forum that fielded many concerns about delays that were causing backlogs in the system.
"The Department of Labour and Workforce Development is informing the public that the Online Work Permit System is currently offline until further notice. Online processing of work permits is on hold. The department is only accepting hard copy applications for all types of work permits while the system is being rectified to ensure efficient and effective online services," the Government announced today, February 14.

The online work permit system was heralded as revolutionary when it was rolled out by Government in July last year as it was intended to ease the burden of employees and employers having to visit the offices, except to make payments. However, by January of this year, there were clear indications of emerging issues with the system as the department removed the processing of renewals and other types of permits and only focused on new (full time) applications.

Acting Labour Commissioner Michelle Mc Lean has also outlined the challenges encountered for staff, pointing out that the uploaded information sometimes de disappears and they must physically print every paper that is submitted to the department which makes it time-consuming.

Delays in the processing of permits have reached a boiling point with the Government admitting that it has pleaded with the Governor's Group to provide more human resources to assist the under-manned Department of Labour and Workforce Development.

At a public online forum held to address the numerous complaints, Minister for Labour and Immigration, Hon. Vincent Wheatley had said he was prepared to temporarily halt the use of the online portal if helps to solve the backlog.

"Someone did suggest earlier that maybe we should remove it altogether and get it out of the way until we get the system fully configured and properly done. I say I am prepared to take that suggestion very seriously. If that is causing the main problem of the backlog and choking off and so forth, then let us do it,” Wheatley stated during the forum on Thursday, February 10.

However, he had stated that the intention is to return to the online processing.
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