[lg policy] Deadline Extended For English Policy Feedback

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 11:56:41 EDT 2018

= Deadline Extended For English Policy Feedback
October 16, 2018 | 13 Comments

[image: Word Art english policy eer]
deadline for feedback on the proposed English Speaking Work Permit Policy
has been extended until October 19th.

Back on October 3rd,
Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown said, “The English Speaking Work
Permit Policy is in circulation to key stakeholders for consultative
purposes; the deadline for feedback is October 12, 2018. Depending on the
extent of the feedback, I expect that this Policy will be implemented by
October 19, 2018.”

The Ministry has confirmed that the Policy will not come into effect on
October 19th, as the deadline for feedback/comments was extended to October
19, and the Ministry will have to consider the feedback first.

The Minister previously explained that Policy “seeks to ensure that foreign
nationals hired by employers to work in serving positions – whether it’s in
a restaurant, a hotel or a rest home – can communicate effectively in

Noting that it is dangerous to have a non-English speaker employed in a job
where one has to read prescriptions or the labels of dangerous chemicals,
the Minister said “It is for those reasons that the Department of
Immigration is seeking to put into effect the English Speaking Work Permit

“The job categories that are being targeted by the new policy are those in
industries where the job holder interacts with the public or in jobs where
lives could be threatened if the person cannot speak or read English,

   - [a] Restaurant/Food Service and Hotel Workers: such as
   cleaner/houseman; room attendant; pot washer; cook/chef; waiter; food and
   beverage server; maitre’d; kitchen porter; counter person; counter chef;
   - [b] Health Professionals, including but not exclusive of: physician;
   pharmacist; nurse; nursing aide; physiotherapist; occupational therapist;
   radiological technician; social worker; and
   - [c] Caregivers in Nursing Jobs: nursemaid/nanny/child caregiver;
   caregivers of geriatric employers and patients in nursing homes.

“For workers from countries where English is not the first language, a
condition would be placed on the work permit under this new Policy stating:
‘Applicant must provide evidence he or she has successfully passed an
‘English as a Second Language’ programme.’

“The employer would be required to show evidence that the applicant has
successfully passed an ‘English as Second Language’ programme by submitting
the document with the work permit application.

“Under this Policy, the Department of Immigration would investigate
complaints from members of the general public that work permit holders
cannot speak or understand English. In circumstances where the individual
is already working in Bermuda and where a complaint is lodged against
him/her, he/she will be brought into the Department of Immigration and
given an English language test.

“If the test results indicate that the person is deficient in their
understanding of and/or ability to speak English [i.e. they fail the test],
the employer and employee will be advised that the Minister is considering
revoking the work permit; both parties will be given 14 days to provide a
written response as to why the Minister should not revoke the work permit.

“If the language test results indicate that the person is proficient in
their understanding of and/or ability to speak English [i.e. they pass the
test], they will be allowed to continue to reside and work in Bermuda for
the duration of their work permit. In this case, the Department of
Immigration reserves the right to recall the work permit holder for
re-testing at any time

 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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