The online work permit system, which rolled out in July, is only accepting new work permit applications — not renewals, acting Labour Commissioner Michelle McLean announced last month.(Photo: GIS)

The much-touted online work permit system has gone partially offline again after launching less than six months ago, acting Labour Commissioner Michelle McLean said last month.

Effective Dec. 15, the online system, which rolled out in July, stopped accepting renewals and only accepts new work permit applications.

“Originally, the online work permit system was developed to accommodate new work permit applications, but due to the Covid-19 lockdown in July 2021, the decision was made to utilise the system for other types of work permit applications,” Ms. McLean said in a statement. “However, due to technical and human resources challenges being experienced by both the Department of Labour and Workforce Development and the Immigration Department, a decision has been made to temporarily accept only new work permit applications online as this approach will significantly reduce wait time.”

The acting commissioner added that her department has been working closely with the Department of Information Technology to ensure that applications for the other types of work permits are available on the government’s website for employers and employees to print and complete. The paper forms are available at https://tinyurl.com/mu86h3tv.

The release did not state whether renewal applications already submitted would still be processed, and Ms. McLean did not immediately respond to an email and phone message left by the Beacon this week.

Payment

She advised online new work permit applicants to print out a copy of the system “dashboard,” which lists the work permit application submitted, and bring it to the department when making the required $50 payment.

To avoid delay, applicants are encouraged to contact 468-4707 or 468-4708 to make an appointment to pay the $50 processing fee.

However, payments can be made with or without an appointment, she said. For those without an appointment, payments must be made by cheque payable to the accountant general. She noted that a drop box has been installed on the first floor of the department to submit cheques, and that a receipt will be available for collection within 48 hours of submission.

Rollout

Premier Andrew Fahie said during the July launch that the system — first tested in early 2019 — had arrived at “a crucial time.”

“Through investment in the technological infrastructure and the required legislation to enable it, public services in many areas, not just work permits, are able to continue to work remotely, efficiently serving the public’s need whilst bringing down the risks caused by the pandemic,” he said.

Using the online system, he said, employers and employees would be able to track the progress of applications on the new platform, which would also notify users they are missing any supporting documentation needed to move their application forward.

Employers can also now access a 28-page user manual instructing them how to create an account, log in and submit documents.


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