What’s likely to be a short Legislative Assembly meeting is set to begin Wednesday morning, as government lawmakers prepare for a business trip to Hong Kong for a U.K.-sponsored trade show next week.

Few bills have been tabled ahead of the upcoming meeting and the premier’s office has not commented on any other planned legislation.

One matter that is expected to be on the agenda is a change to the Trade and Business Licensing Law requiring local companies to have all outstanding pension, healthcare and other labor-related issues resolved before renewing operating licenses.

The requirement for up-to-date pension and healthcare payments for employees exists within the current licensing law but contains the caveat that a company is not compliant only if it is “not taking the necessary actions to resolve such non-compliance.” In other words, actions to resolve non-payment of pensions or healthcare premiums can be in progress rather than already done.

An amended Trade and Business Licensing Bill made public last month will attempt to change the current legal language to state “the [license] applicant has not taken the necessary steps to resolve the non-compliance.” The requirement will not be in place for new businesses that are applying for their first trade and business license and are therefore not carrying on business at the time their application is submitted.

There are also expected to be some private members’ motions from lawmakers.

Savannah MLA Anthony Eden has filed a motion seeking mandatory minimum sentences for child molesters of 10 years for any related offense. A similar members’ motion brought by Mr. Eden in 2013 to set a five-year minimum sentence for the crime of indecent assault was approved by lawmakers.

George Town Central MLA Kenneth Bryan has proposed two private members’ motions; one seeking to make the Cayman Islands fire chief and chief immigration officer “Caymanian only” jobs, and another to allow Caymanians to increase the amount of pension funds they can spend on the purchase or payoff of their primary residence from the current $35,000 to $100,000.

A number of other members’ motions have been proposed. The ones to be considered will be heard on Thursday.

Trade show

A number of government members, including Premier McLaughlin and Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers, are expected to travel to Hong Kong on the weekend for a U.K. government trade show, the “Great Festival of Innovation,” being held March 21-24.

The festival is seen locally as an opportunity to showcase Cayman Islands businesses, particularly in the financial services industry.

The festival is part of the U.K. Department of International Trade’s effort to promote British businesses and industries, which began in January 2017. Cayman has been invited to participate as a British Overseas Territory.

According to a department press release issued last year: “Declaring to global investors that the U.K. is open for business, this campaign showcases the strength of the U.K. as a leading investment and business destination, in the financial services, life science sector and sustainable energy industry.”

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