BVI News

It can’t work! Employers want to fire expats without pay

Labour & Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley recently called out some local employers who he accused of abusing expatriate employees then asking his ministry to have them deported.

“You [employers] bring them here, you abuse them; you’re going to fix that problem. It can’t work! I won’t accept abuse of any worker in this country. I don’t care where they come from,” Wheatley expressed.

He said in many instances, employers fire expat workers and refuse to pay severance or for the work they did.

Speaking at a recent sitting of the House of Assembly, the minister recalled one such instance for which he is personally aware.

“A lady called me last week in tears! This company here owe her money, make her go home and refuse to pay her. Totally appalling! This is an abuse of basic human rights. They have worked for you! Pay them! If you brought them here on your bond, pay them and then release them,” Wheatley advised.

Despite these incidents, the minister said there are many local businesses who are doing well by taking care of all their employees. However, he warned employers who are doing “bad business” that the government is watching and will take measures to stem their unethical behaviour.

He also acknowledged those who have been employing local staff. These local hires align with government’s ambition to have a BVI workforce that is compromised of at least 70 percent locals.

Weeks ago, he warned that limited periods could be attached to new work permits if businesses do not comply with government’s goal of transitioning the labour force to mostly local.

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52 Comments

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  1. Tola says:

    Not nice at all

    Like 10
    Dislike 3
    • Boss. Seriously says:

      What you really need is a new focus labour department, Start with getting a new commissioner who knows the law and who loves people and hate injustice..

      Like 22
      Dislike 2
      • INFO says:

        The Labour Commissioner is no longer there there is someone else acting until the new one is assigned

      • The new Labour commissioner.. says:

        I didn’t even realize there is a new labour commissioner.. I am not seeing anything different. Employers still doing what they want. Employees still suffering. This is a major concern. Why some employers in the restaurant business giving a few employees plenty hours and some get none.. that is unfair, troublesome and concerning. Labour needs to look into.

  2. I dont believe you anymore says:

    I am very sorry but I cannot believe anything that comes from the mouth of this VIP government anymore. Hon. Wheatley has been one of the most anti-expatriate members of government. From telling expats to go home during covid to locking out work permit holders and exempted workers to his remarks about flushing out illegals to his support for the 7% fee on west union etc.
    He got some serious heat when his true colours were shown. Now he wants to do damage control and playing like he is defending expats. Which employers don’t want to pay expats and fire them? This government continues to talk things and produce no evidence of what they say in a desperate attempt to save their already failed image.
    I do not believe your story on this Hon. Wheatley simply because it is unbelievable coming from your mouth.

    Like 76
    Dislike 17
    • Terror says:

      He is not anti expatriate. He is anti C******an expatriate. They’re not the ones that financed his campaign.

      Like 37
      Dislike 4
    • LIZ says:

      Dam, I dislike your comment by accident … you have 1 less dislike !!!! I also share your sentiments exactly !!!!

      Like 13
      Dislike 1
    • what? says:

      You want people to come work send home money and leave the BVI economy dry.

      And you want illegal aliens to not be flushed out?

      You want him to tell people stay here in a next man country to waste away during covid unemployment or go home to their own where they will be secure.

      Fact when trouble start aint no place to be broke but home.

      It looks to be he is not anti expat he is doing the job of a BVI politician.

      Like 10
      Dislike 18
    • redstorm says:

      Belive him. There are about thirty some expat workers from one local company who did not pay their workers full salary for years, some 40% SOME 10% some nothing. Believe him, it will all come to light. some workers getting two hundred dollar of their salary per month. Some wages amount in outstanding in thousands. So believe him.

      Like 16
      • L Hodge says:

        Eventually, all these politicians need to be investigated on how unfairly they treat people from different countries. It is xenophobia.

        Like 4
        Dislike 3
    • Concerned says:

      Wheatley has done more w***g to the expats than any employer ever could do

      Like 6
      Dislike 3
    • Road Town Rebel. says:

      That 7% fee is across the board. Every one using WU pays it .whats your dam point?.

    • Pao says:

      I am an expat that have worked for a local owners company in Roadtown, they had done all kind of mistreating to me, from making disappear my signed contract in order to pay me whatever they wanted (Low), change my job position to other.. and my list continues for the wrong doings of this company mainly done by a racist Guyanan HR and continuous lies from one of the owners. Naturally I was laid off and they did not wanted to pay my wages as per the original contract. I’ve went to the Labor department where a kind officer has helped me at least to get my month salary and get the airfare back to my country that the company didn’t want to pay. He also suggested me to write a complaint to the Commissioner and Minister, thing that I did and I had never got any sort of reply, meaning that the top person at the ministry of labor doesn’t give a damm and by this he is protecting a company owned by high profile local owners. Unfortunatelly these local owners made my life in the BVI a real nightmare. Shame.

  3. Slavery says:

    The whole work permit scheme is nothing but slavery

    Like 57
    Dislike 10
  4. VI gyal says:

    and locals who do not want to pay when they done get their project done.

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  5. Megaschmega says:

    You think that is abuse? How about the locals who import *talent* to jump up and down in? That is tantamount to human trafficking. Or locals who deduct taxes from expat pay but never submit said deductions to the BVI gov’t? That’s fraud. Or local businesses not registered with the BVI gov’t yet still operating with a majority expat workforce? Releasing and not paying for services rendered is the least of your worries

    Like 39
    Dislike 3
    • step up says:

      Name the business that is not registered with expat workers as all the workers are illegal in the country as you need a trade license to get a work permit approved. Or perhaps you just full of wind?

      Step up or shut up

      Like 16
      Dislike 8
    • @megaschmega says:

      You think that is abuse? What about expats who work three jobs, not paying taxes on two, and still in every senior yard doing odd jobs and robbing them blind? What about expat women working for their money, as I work for mine, but sending home theirs and my husband can’t walk Road Town street in peace with all the begging going on? What about this ugly, extremely ugly, backbiting and measuring by professional expats on the job of anyone local and feeding the immature expats and locals to make themselves look even brighter than they are? What about biting the hand that has fed your behind for years and given you a big bank account and a better way of life but still calling locals and this country stupid? What about going home if you had enough? Please take a duggone seat. I lived in America for many years and headed home for a better life. You guys should try it. The complaining is making me sick. Nobody feels for complainers, especially those that we know are doing well.

      Like 8
      Dislike 9
  6. Doh says:

    Just proves the point the BVI is divisive, racist and xenophobic. BVIlove? I just don’t see it

    Like 30
    Dislike 7
  7. Expat says:

    Thats true and labour department not doing anything when you complain. The same exact thing happen to me plus my employers owed me three sets of money they never give me any vacation pay for 3 years i worked for them labour is aware of all this

    Like 22
    Dislike 2
  8. Hmm says:

    All of the above hapoen to me plus no vacation pay either and labour department did nothing. But guess what when I do get a new job the same labour was giving me a hard time to grant the new permit. So you see they locals have the upper hands.

    Like 21
    Dislike 2
  9. Carpenter says:

    The majority of these employers that take advantage of their employees are expat employers, especially in the construction industry. They work the poor guys for up to 2 months or longer with no pay, then when they finally pay them, they deduct nhi, ss and tax from their pay and don’t pay it in to the respective entities

    Like 13
    Dislike 3
    • island man says:

      Ayo own locals doing that.. how many expat vontractors does BVI have? Them big time contractor doing that plus taking out SS and not paying it.

      Like 3
      Dislike 2
  10. MJ says:

    Employers making deductions and not making payments as required by law is theft and fraud. Lock them up.

    Like 36
  11. $$ says:

    So true that’s why I told my son to take his little BACKSIDE and go back home yes he was working the d**n boss want to pay when she wants

    leave every d**n and go it’s about 4weeks now and the stupid boss don’t know he is not working
    such a buls**ter.

  12. Love says:

    Mr Wheatley when is M***n going to pay us .. it’s been a whole year and nothing have happened we have walked up and down at labour department and not a thing . 13 long tears working with M***n mo****gs took over from him and not to this date we got a penny from either one of them . Who have our backs it’s not fair to any human being I am not from here but have been here for a very long time tortola is my home so whyy are we not getting help from you .

    Like 10
  13. Mad Max says:

    Yet none of these same companies are prosecuted. No payment, no SS, no payroll tax, no NHI yet all deducted from salaries.

    And the only ways to get a 70% local workforce are;
    – Reduce total number of jobs (happening due to COVID or handling of COVID).
    – Create more locals (not popular).
    – Bring home more locals (are there enough)

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  14. WHO says:

    Why not name these employers? Must be big island names

    Like 14
    Dislike 2
  15. His his Friend says:

    That was his friend. He is the one that been ordering the deportation of folks. Did he talk about the inequality of working hours.. Some getting plenty others get none… Did he address that?

  16. hmmmm says:

    well then yall need to go and check T**y A******o………………… he is the definition of taking advantage of employees and does not follow certain sections in the labour code.

    His employees are afraid to come forward because of his status in the territory.

  17. The new trend says:

    The new trend is to cut salary, don’t inform the employee, then make the employee redundant and calculate the benefits at the Covid rate and not at the original pay and say they are preachers and deacons in the church.

  18. Circus continue says:

    The company I work for lay-off us since March without pay the claimed the government say the don’t need to pay any staff because he give businesses the “ok” to close until October 31, some of these employers are wicked the don’t even think about how the staff are surviving. Now it is coming close to the October 31 due date the boss gone to the States without informing the employees weather the will open back the company or pay off the employees. They clearly prove that the don’t care about us if the never come back we the employees will suffer immigration will deport us without any severance pay,,,, so what this man is say is nonsense the encouraging the employers to treat the expats like dogs

    Like 11
  19. redstorm says:

    Belive him. There are about thirty some expat workers from one local company who did not pay their workers full salary for years, some 40% SOME 10% some nothing. Believe him, it will all come to light. some workers getting two hundred dollar of their salary per month. Some wages amount in outstanding in thousands. So believe him.

  20. INFO says:

    The Labour Commissioner is no longer there there is someone else acting until the new one is assigned

  21. SOMEONE ACTING says:

    That is how they jazz it when the corruption boils over. All sorts of gimmicks to take advantage of the people. The truth is that Western Civilization was built on the backs of slaves. In order for this system to continue to function slavery must continue so we have the resulting slave and master system with all sorts of fancy terms to deceive the people continually. It is what it is SLAVERY. Why you think Gus put his foot in his mouth he is all too aware of exactly what is going on. All these so called leaders know what is going on but they are invested hence the bulls**t and hypocrisy.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I rather dead some people weak bad lord give them strength.

  23. Corruption says:

    You go to labour to make a complaint about ill treatment and before you walk out the door one of them calling their local employer friend to report you.

  24. Anyone surprised m? says:

    The BVI is the most racist country in the Western Hemisphere.
    No change will happen till all the expats leave…..or all tax payers are permitted to vote just like in the US.
    Can you imagine any leader in the BVI going on national TV on a debate? No, would be an uneducated
    joke… but still you vote your cousins brother into office and what you have today is what you get.
    Has anyone checked property values lately? The BVI is so low on islands to invest in the Caribbean because so many other countries/islands have risen above “third world” quality and infrastructure that the BVI provides especially when it comes to internet, medical, water, roads, electricity and garage/waste.
    How many were poisoned by pockwood pond?!?how many will have cancer in 10-15 years without any compensation?
    If this happened in the US, all who were affected would be millionaires for the government’s negligence.
    In 10 years, the BVI will be no different than Haiti if the same path is followed. So many alarms have been sounded and no change has been made… now the expats are leaving…but wait, the belongers are leaving too for a better future and job security.
    What is left to offer? So security.. no money.. no medical care…just your cousins brother.. and that’s what you all wanted for so long. So Enjoy.
    Don’t bitch when you come to the US and you are now the expats.. life comes full circle….
    Thank the Lord no Irma hit now. After the way you treat people, no country/people coming to your aid anymore.
    Fool the world once, twice but not anymore.

    .

    Like 22
    Dislike 1
    • Joe Sutter says:

      Very True !! too much racism from locals towards expats from the immigration officer at the airport to a server in a restaurant, shame, they are ruining their own country.

  25. Wow says:

    What about employee who have to pay both part of they social Security because employer fail to do so for 4.5years. Take it out and said he forget to pay and go to labour and they just laugh at u. Because they are budddies..

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  26. Expat@17 says:

    Wheatley don’t like expats and now saying all work force to get 70% of the dam local lazy people.
    He needs to give Employers the opportunity to choose their best employees.
    Only an Employer will know who does their work well, not you Wheatley, you is one of the worst Minister ever.

  27. Norris Turnbull says:

    A lot of you blogging s**t needs to be fact checked DC. Even Vincent need to be fact checked on this comment.”Speaking at a recent sitting of the House of Assembly, the minister recalled one such instance for which he is personally aware.”. Really. And accusing most “local owned” businesses of doing this? Get real.

  28. Employee says:

    THE *****NGS BEEN DOING TJIS AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT. UP TO THIS VERY DAY THEY DOING IT. SOMEOME IN LABOUR DEPARTMENT IS BEING PAID UNDER THE TABLE TO KEEP THIS HUSH HUSH. THE BIG BOSSES P**** AND A****** ARE BRINGING IN MAN TO WPRL ON PERMIT AND SENDING HOME THE BLACKS WHO ARE ON PERMIT. THIS BULLS**T MUST END BEFORE SOMEONE LOSES THEIR LIFE IN THE PROCESS.. CAUSE GOVERNMENT AIN ACTING FAST ENOUGH SO THATS WHAT IT HAS TO COME TO ..

  29. Joe Sutter says:

    Very True !! too much racism from locals towards expats from the immigration officer at the airport to a server in a restaurant, shame, they are ruining their own country.

  30. Stop inciting hatred... says:

    Whether a person is local or expat the treatment should be according to the law, fair and just. Do not make it seem as if you are looking out for a particular set of people. Let it be fairness and justice for all. You should know better as a leader. Stop looking for friends.

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