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IoM To Relax Work Permit Rules

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
24 July, 2017

The Isle of Man's Department of Economic Development has issued a consultation paper on proposed work permit reforms.

The consultation lists seven proposals, including reforming the current process to a single-stage employer-only application, simplifying matters considered for granting a work permit, facilitating the granting of longer work permits, and assisting cohabiting partners of Isle of Man workers, work permit holders, and exempt persons with receiving automatic permits.

Laurence Skelly, Minister for Economic Development, commented: "The Isle of Man is facing labor shortages across many sectors of the economy. This, paired with a high number of job vacancies, is creating an island-wide skills shortage which has the potential to deter businesses looking to grow in the Isle of Man."

"The Consultation sets out a range of proposals intended to make key changes to the operation of the system to ensure that employers can act swiftly when recruiting to roles where they have not been able to find suitable, available Isle of Man workers … Importantly this reformed system would continue to protect the interests of Isle of Man workers. The principle is to preserve the need to consider Isle of Man workers in the first instance but then to ensure straightforward wider recruitment if required."

The Department is also seeking comments on the idea of "flipping" the current system so that rather than everybody who is not an Isle of Man worker requiring a permit, unless the employment is exempt, there would be no requirement for permits other than in the cases of a minority of designated employments and persons of a particular description (e.g. persons previously sentenced to a term of custody).

The Department says the proposals outlined in the consultation will require secondary legislation, which could be brought before the island's parliament after the summer recess.

The closing date for comment on the consultation is August 31, 2017.

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