The Department of Economic Development has simplified the process to request work permit exemptions for seasonal hospitality workers to support local companies who have been unable to recruit for positions locally.
The new process will support exemptions for the summer season from 1st March 2017 to the 31st October 2017. Use of the exemptions is dependent on employees meeting certain criteria, including a minimum of 12 months’ work experience in the sector.
Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for the Department of Economic Development commented:
‘Due to the Isle of Man’s continued low unemployment rate and increasing visitor numbers, our local hospitality industry has been struggling to find the number of staff needed to sustain successful and growing businesses. We have listened to their feedback and have already introduced measures to nurture local skills with the Hospitality Training Course which offers training and a work placement to interested applicants. The new work permit temporary exemption process will offer additional help to allow this important sector to thrive.’
Rob Callister MHK, Political Member at the Department with responsibility for Tourism and Motorsport added:
‘We have listened very closely to the tourism industry and worked with stakeholders to identify the best measures to support further growth while protecting local workers. We have received evidence that employers are struggling to recruit enough staff members and will be introducing this transparent and accessible exemption system to support their efforts. The new exemption process will give them the flexibility to boost their workforce during peak periods, raising the quality of customer service on the Isle of Man. The exemptions are directly aligned with the Destination Management Plan to enhance the visitor experience and extend the Island’s tourism season.’
Mark Wilson, Managing Director of Sleepwell Hotels, commented:
‘The ability to recruit additional seasonal workers is fantastic news for the Island’s hospitality sector. We have a great talent base here on the Island and remain committed to making our vacancies available to local employees. However, during peak times we are often pressed to find additional staff to help with the influx of visitors, so I believe the new exemptions will help us keep the high standards of service that our customers expect.'
‘We would also like to place on record our gratitude to the Department of Economic Development, for listening to the views of those in the local hospitality industry and assisting to put these conditional seasonal worker exemptions into place. We look forward to a busy summer ahead.’
There is a power in the Control of Employment Act 2014 for the Department to exempt temporary employment from the requirement for a work permit. The conditions of the seasonal work permit exemptions requires that employers pre-register with the Department to use the exemption, indicating how many seasonal positions they are likely to require. The exemptions only cover genuine seasonal vacancies and will not apply to zero hour contracts, casual workers or agency workers.
The Department of Economic Development have produced guidance for employers hoping to take advantage of the simplified exemption process: /categories/working-in-the-isle-of-man/work-permits/temporary-exemptions/