‘Caymanian only’ jobs considered


A Cayman Islands lawmaker wants a
committee to consider whether certain jobs – in both the public and private
sector – should be made ‘Caymanian only’, meaning foreigners need not apply.

A private members motion filed by
George Town MLA Ellio Solomon, which could be debated as early as Thursday,
seeks to create a committee that would consider what positions or what types of
employment, if any, might be made available only to Caymanians.

“I believe that there are certain
parts of our work force that the country would be best served by ensuring that
these positions remain Caymanian only,” Mr. Solomon said in response to
Caymanian Compass questions on the matter. “This is to offer similar
protections that many nations in the European Union, including the UK, sought
to utilise.”

Some concerns have already been
expressed that such a proposal would be detrimental to Cayman’s overall
economy, which depends heavily on foreign labour. However, Mr. Solomon said he
didn’t see a problem with a motion calling for a committee to consider whether
certain jobs could be made Caymanian only.

“I don’t believe that to merely
consider the issue can be detrimental,” he said.

Mr. Solomon declined to state which
positions or types of work, in his opinion, could be made Caymanian only.
However, he said particular attention should be given to public sector

“The position of Deputy Governor is
Caymanian only and so are members of the Legislative Assembly,” he said. “Are
these the only jobs that should be Caymanian only?”

Depending on the findings of the
committee, Mr. Solomon assented that ‘exceptional circumstances’ could be used
in particular situations to allow foreigners to fill positions designated for

“Given the size of our country at
this point in time, there may very likely need to be (such) a provision,” he

How such a ‘Caymanian only’
provision would be enforced is not envisioned by Mr. Solomon’s motion.
Typically, private members motions are merely suggestions that legislators
would like the administration to pursue, and Mr. Solomon said he did not wish
to prejudge any findings such a committee might make anyway.

“It is possible that the committee
may say no jobs should be Caymanian only, but I believe we need to look at the
issue carefully, particularly in the public sector,” he said.

Any provision that would make a job
available only to Caymanians does not fall afoul of the non-discrimination
section of the bill of rights contained in Cayman’s Constitution.

The non-discrimination section does
not apply to “with respect to the entry into or exclusion from, or the
employment, engaging in any business or profession, movement or residence
within the Cayman Islands of persons who are not Caymanian”.

Cayman Islands Immigration Law
requires employers – both public and private – to consider job applicants in a
hierarchy, depending on qualifications. Qualified Caymanians are to be
considered first, following by non-Caymanian permanent residence certificate
holders, followed by spouses of Caymanians, followed by work permit holders who
are already on Island.

If none of those are available,
then companies may select a suitable candidate from outside the Islands.

As of 30 June, there were more than
21,000 non-Caymanians here on work permits, government contracts or working as
an operation of law (awaiting applications for permanent residence or work
permit appeals).


Mr. Solomon


  1. Should Caymanians really be entitled to a position because of their birthright and not their abilities? I have 60 employees, I would hire all Caymanians if they were sufficiently qualified. This may get Mr Solomon votes but it is an incredibly bad idea. What’s next?

  2. The Business staffing plan seem to be well formulated. Government should be leading by example. The concept that business will hire/promote/train Caymanians to fill positions held by work permit holder seem sound. But one must agree that a policy is only as sound as it’s enforcement.. Any process which seek to promote the hiring of Caymanians should not penalize the employer by doing so. If there be a case where incentives are warranted, Incentives for the hiring and promoting of Caymanians should be at the top of the list.

  3. I actually agree with Ellio on this one. They are some jobs that should be held by Caymanians Only and with absolutely no intent to offend,when I say Caymanian I mean born and raised not "paper", because if you are not born here you are still not a Caymanian no matter how much you paid or how long you’ve been here to get that piece of paper or how good you did on your PR exam. You can say I’m a Caymanian a thousand times,but when you look at the the place of birth on your birth certificate and it doesn’t say Cayman Islands, you’re simply not a Caymanian. If I went to another country quality for citizenship to be considered one of them, I still know that I’m a Caymanian. You have to be born one to be one and that’s the simple fact… but back to the point..

    I believe that all workers on the front line in the tourism industry or represent Cayman in home market should be Caymanian only such as All Real Estate agents, Waiters, waitresses, boat operators, water sports operators and dive masters, sales associates in souvenir & jewelry stores, tour guides,taxis and bus drivers,Hotel Attendants, bar tenders and the like because they first people that tourists meet and give them a chance to meet an actual Caymanian. I’ve worked in the tourism industry in the past and most of time the first thing I would be asked by a tourist is…are you a Caymanian? In the summer of 2006 I worked in a souvenir store and some tourist came in,and heard my cousin and I talking to eachother,in our Caymanian Dialect,that I like to call chopped up english. When they found out we were Caymanian, they were absolutely thrilled and told us they’ve been dying to meet an actual Caymanian after coming off the ship that day. They said every where they went, they’d ask but no one they came in contact with was a Caymanian. They always ended up talking to an American,Canadian,Indian,or someone of another Nationality, but were finally happy to meet real Caymanians. They told us when they went to other destinations the people that worked in the stores and restaurants were of that Country,and it gave them great joy to meet them, talk about their country, learn a little of their dialect and just get to know more about them and were hoping to see alot of that here but didn’t.
    So after a few minutes they took pictures with us and we ended up spending the next hour or so teaching them how to talk like a Caymanian and teaching them the meaning of some of our words like "unna", the food we eat,our national treasures, where they can go and enjoy the rest of their time here,and a bit of our history.They came in a little after 1pm and ended up staying with us,nearly until 3 when it was time to board the ship again. A couple weeks later,a group of tourist came in and said that their family members came to our store earlier that month and learnt so much and recommended them to come to our store to meet us and meet Caymanians and learn the wonderful things like they did.They also gave our store at the time good reviews on the cruise ships’ tourist review website as a great place to visit.

    It instilled a great sense of National Pride and made me all the more proud to be a Caymanian and have the ability to represent my Country and share the love I have for my country with the people I meet.

    Another example I can give, is when my family and I went to the Bahamas last year. Every where we went, we met a Bahamian and it was an absolutely wonderful experience. They took us around and showed us their country and taught us their dialect and you could see during our tours the great pride and passion eminating from these peoples faces to be able to show you their home.

  4. I am a Caymanian and I am deeply concerned about even thinking about this course of action. All that comes to mind is segregation. You are either qualified for certain jobs or you are not qualified. And frankly there are many Caymanian people that are quailfied and hold great positions in many different business.

  5. Hey Kitty you are wrong on that!
    When Christopher Columbus came here in 1502 he only saw turtles,mosquitoes and plenty of sand.He never saw any indigenous people unless you family was here hiding in a cave.So my point is: We all came from somewhere,so get over it,cayman islands is a multi-cultural society and you should treat everybody the way you want to be treat it.
    I guess you can trace your family for 5 generations right? And all of them immigrated from europe,africa,U.S.A,Asia,Middle east. To say a few…So don’t be so anti-expats because you can be one yourself 😉

  6. Now which job is it that Caymanians don’t want to do?. I must agree that there are many position in the work-place that Caymanians are not qualified to hold. But stop that bull about Caymanians don’t want to work. Caymanians were here working and living to a ripe old age long before this false/temporary economy was created by the influx of foreign cash and workers..
    If the government of Jamaica was to recall all of its citizens tomorrow, we would all see how false our economy really is. Caymanians must as a national priority fill more vital positions. Our leaders would be blind not to see this. The business staffing plan must be progressively applied, and we need more leaders with such vision; It is not about Caymanians VS foreigners. It is about Cayman as a nation.

  7. Hey JTB & Cosanostra, thank you for your opinions as we are all entitled to our opinions whether we agree with eachother or not, or like it or not. There are two sides to the coin and all of our point do have truth to it, but Cosanostra, please for God sakes get your history right, Christopher Columbus came here in
    1503!!,my family did not hide a cave, and I can actually trace my family of 5 generations, thanks to 20 page long family tree list I have from the national archives and thanks to the family reunion my family had 2 months ago, can you trace yours? Every where my mother and I go,she always makes sure I know who my family is and thanks to her working at have Immigration for over two decades,so I’m kept well informed. Further more I’m not an anti-expat,I just have a right to my opinion just like you and everybody else,I do have rights too you know.
    And to answer your question about being an expat, I was born here,my parents were born here,my grandparents were born here,great grandparents were born here,great great grandparents were born here,great great great grand parents were born here, so it’s safe to say I’m not an expat.

    But once again thanks for your questions and concerns and I’m glad I can answer them and help you shut up.:)Thank you, God Bless you and Goodnight!

  8. I forgot to also add in my last comment, that I had no intention to offend, but since a couple people missed that line in my initial OPINION,let me make myself clear that my opinion were based on what the tourists’ wants were, what they themselves said they wanted, to me and I agreed with them,on that basis.If you stopped and read what I wrote, and understood it from the point of view.

    But as I said we are all entitled to our opinion.

  9. Isn’t the current immigration policy basically this? LOL

    Caymanian only, unless they can’t find someone to fill that position and then you can apply for an expat to fill it.

    I hate to inject a bit of obvious pudding in the mix. But…durrrr.

  10. Kitty, good to see you spent hours on end while working at a souvenir shop teaching a couple of tourists how to speak your language…2 happy tourists back on the ship saying ‘wah gwoan’ and dozens more annoyed for being neglected while shopping in your store…

    Needless to say, this suggestion of ‘Caymanian Only’ jobs is obvious political posturing. The fact that a Country/Government drowning in debt would waste time forming a committee to explore this is absurd to say the least. With a voting turnout of just over 12k, every uninformed vote counts. Please dont allow yourself to fall into this delusional thought…

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