Accusing company of skirting immigration rules

| 29/11/2016

As a job seeker I need to point out a new trend I’m beginning to see with jobs advertised by one of the largest and expanding private employers in Cayman. Basically they are advertising in the local Friday paper vacancies with a deadline to apply. When you go onto their careers website where they direct you to register and to apply, there is a closing date that is different from the advert in the paper. Three days later the closing date on the same website changes to even a longer deadline to apply but no new ad is in the paper, therefore no one sees the ad again where they could possibly attract new applicants.

I did my own internal investigation and from what I gather it’s to run the time out for a permit to be renewed, so basically a fake advert. My question is, what are they doing with all the applications when no one is even called for an interview or notified of a rejection? Is the careers website just a sham and you’re basically applying to nowhere? So frustrating to see a simple school leaver role filled by a permit. Where is immigration and the enforcement unit?

Auntie’s answer: I cannot speak to what you determined from your “internal investigation” since I have no idea what that involved and how you came to conclude that the job advertisement is a fake. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe you or that this sort of thing does not happen. I am only saying that I do not have enough information from you to comment on your statement.

With all that, though, I did speak to a Department of Immigration official about your concerns. Section 44(2)(b) of the Immigration Law (2015 Revision) specifies that an employer must advertise a job in at least two issues of a local newspaper for two consecutive weeks. However, the official pointed out, “There is nothing in the law that prevents an employer from also advertising a position on their website or extending the deadline for applications as long as the requirements under 44(2)(b) are met.”

What that means is that in the case you described, there is nothing illegal about the employer’s website continuing to advertise the job after the two-week period it appears in the newspaper. There are various reasons for the extended deadline, including that perhaps no suitable candidate applied during the original two weeks the ad ran. And if the job is advertised on the website, it is clearly there for all to see; nothing nefarious about that on its own.

If that sort of thing consistently occurs with that specific company, that an ad runs in the paper for two weeks but then appears much longer online, the process might seem to be suspicioulsy weighted against locals but they are still within their legal bounds.

One other point to be made is that if a Caymanian applied for the job and does not get it, the potential employer must submit that information to immigration with an explanation of why that person was not suitable.

However, the official noted that sometimes Caymanians send copies of their applications to immigration so that if a work permit application is submitted for that job and the department never received any information about the Caymanian who applied, they can investigate and possibly fine the company.

If you have any information or concerns that a business is not abiding by the advertising requirements or any other aspects of the law, you can submit a complaint to immigration. Information on the external complaints process can be found through this link.

In addition, the National Workforce Development Agency (NWDA) operates a job portal on its website for both employers and potential employees who register with the agency. An NWDA official explained that once the employer has completed the recruitment process, he or she can indicate whether the job seeker was hired and/or comment on why they weren’t hired. The employer, job seeker, NWDA and Department of Immigration can all access these comments.

The job seeker can also comment about the recruiting process and respond to what the employer wrote and the potential employee, immigration and the NWDA can view these.

That system certainly would make it difficult for an employer to run any “fake” job advertisements like in the situation you wrote about, but there is no legal requirement for employers to post their job openings with the NWDA. If someone does apply for a job this way they can then offer feedback to immigration about the job and their application.

While the NWDA option may be more limited in scope, it does offer you the transparency you seek when applying for a job.

The law mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library

Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear Auntie. Following on from this question is the justification for the recruitment agencies (sadly all of them) to falsely advertise jobs? A great portion of the jobs on their website are no longer available but yet still showing. So once again you are applying for naught.

  2. HR Manager says:

    The only jobs that are advertised are those which are already filled. You have to get on the grapevine and find the vacancies ahead of the crowd.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If an Employer is seeking to hire a new staff member, advertises in accordance with the immigration law in a local newspaper but gets no suitably qualified Caymanian applicant, what is wrong with it posting that same job on its website or advertising it overseas even if the closing date is a later date?

    The Caymanian can still apply to the web or the overseas printed advert and the Employer must still by law consider that application and disclose its existence to immigration.

    The reason an Employer has the shorter time to apply in its Cayman advert is that it wants to ensure there are no Caymanian applicants before spending money on foreign advertising or employing a recruitment firm. In short normal and good business practice.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Listen crybaby an employer will always hire someone worth while. Learn it now and realize it wont be handed to you no matter how entitled you feel and your attitude wont get you a job either

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the great tip. Sounds a good way to help keep staff stability.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Auntie for a very clear explanation

  7. Anonymous says:

    ooooh. A Caymanian is unlawfully cheated out of a potential job by fraudulent representations to the Cayman Islands government, and there may be a fine?

    Immigration have just made the consequences of lying to them an acceptable risk and part of the cost of doing business.