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Statement: Pickering on new work permit fees

By Dr Kedrick Pickering, minister of labour

Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the business community:

Please be advised that the revised work permit fee structure will be implemented, effective July 1, 2017.

As you are aware, the Government has been focused on modernising its business practices while attempting to align the applicable fees charged to make them reflective of the services delivered in today’s environment.

One such initiative is the streamlining of processes, and the improvement of operational efficiency and customer service at the Labour Department in conjunction with a revision of the existing work permit fee structure, which has been in place since 1981.

Recently, we announced that the implementation of the new fee structure scheduled for 15th May, 2017 would be delayed to give the Government an opportunity to review the concerns raised by various industry representatives and stakeholders.

I wish to thank the business community for sharing their additional views and concerns during this period.

Our objective is always to provide an opportunity for feedback. I am pleased that employees, employers and members of the public came forward and shared their views. We acknowledge the valuable feedback provided during the review process and we thank you for your patience during this time.

We have carefully considered the expressed views, and have weighed them against our objective of rationalising our very dated fee structure and our current process of improving service and efficiencies within the Labour Department, prior to the determination of the new implementation date.

Persons should note that the new work permit fee structure is one that is progressive and based on income, meaning that the amount charged for a work permit will be based on an employee’s annual income, and will be calculated as a percentage of that income.

Be reminded that the new work permit fee structure is progressive and based on income. Under the revised fee structure, no work permit will cost more than $10,000.

Progressive means that persons will pay a different percentage at different levels of their annual income.

For example, a person earning $40,000, the work permit fee will be $1,500 and calculated as:

$25,000 at 3 percent = $750

$15,000 at 5 percent = $750

Total Work Permit Fee = $1,500

Similarly, the work permit fee for a person earning $65,000 will be calculated as:

$25,000 at 3 percent = $750

$25,000 at 5 percent = $1250

$15,000 at 7 percent = $1050

Total Work Permit Fee = $3,050

Lastly, I want to assure everyone that the public that the Labour Department is continuing to refine its plans for process improvements that will allow it to deliver greater value for money as the new fees come into force.

Already, the department has reduced the processing time for work permit renewals and is now introducing online check for work permit status. You will be hearing more details about this online service soon.

We also assure residents that we are upholding the appropriate standards and principles to ensure sound stewardship of the labour supply and the Territory’s economic development.

Thank you.

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