Several years ago anyone looking for a job with the Cayman Islands government wouldn’t have thought twice about putting their religious affiliation on a job application.
Our population was so small then that there would have been a good chance the person taking your application knew if and where you went to church.
Now, we are a country with more than 30,000 foreign residents from 130-plus different nations.
Times are changing the world over and Cayman is being swept up in those winds.
One of those changes will soon be evident on Government employment applications.
No longer will applicants be required to tell what their religious affiliation is.
The change has come about after a Human Rights Centre review led Gov. Stuart Jack to signal it was time for it.
Many of those who have moved here from other places have brought with them their own ingrained ideas of what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to applying for jobs.
In many places throughout the world it is illegal to discriminate against a job applicant based on religion.
The decision to remove the religious affiliation question has to do with human rights.
While those of us familiar with the ways of doing things in the Cayman Islands might find the notion that someone would discriminate because of religious affiliation appalling, we have to realise that it does happen.
If a foreign applicant is suitably qualified for a job, their region shouldn’t be a factor in disqualifying them.
Some of those coming in from foreign lands could be put in positions of employment that requires them to hire and dismiss people. Any prejudices they have about certain religions or religious affiliations should have no bearing on whether the job applicant is successful.
There are jobs throughout the Cayman Islands where being of a particular religion is an appropriate requirement for the post, but not in government positions.
Basically an employer has the right to hire the most qualified and suitable candidate for a particular job, but the employment decision should be based only on the criteria that relate to the applicant’s ability to do the job.
As our country continues to grow and become more and more diverse we can expect to see other changes like the one eliminating the religion question from government job applications.
While we agree that Cayman has to retain its individual identity, we must all realise that we are part of a globalised world.