THE AXLE 

FOR EMPLOYERS  / CLIENTS OF CATALYST 


2 Years before WP holders can change employer 

8 January 2023

On x January 2023, the Minister offered comment on the increased numbers of worker permit holders who have not been on island for 2 years seeking work with another employer.  We, too, have noticed this trend. We have seen a significant increase in the number of workers, who are actively seeking to jump ship after only a short time on island. this is a function of 1 / the scarcity of skilled labour at this time and the competitive pressures of business.

To be clear, the policy states clearly that that a wok permit be on island for 2 years before he / she is able to transfer employers. he / she cannot seek to o change employment. the employers.    The loophole? He / she must leave the island to assume a new contract where a new contract through now has been issued without regard for the period of employment as long as he / she is off island when the application is filed.  The Minister rightfully makes note of thw significant investment employers make in bomboarding a new worker and seeks to protect that investment to some extent. Be sure to read the full statement.     See full RG story here.

Visitors can stay 6 of 12 months only 

8 January 2023

It used to be that a spouse or family member of a worker would come to Bermuda for 6 month period, then leave for a day or weekend, then return to Bermuda for another 6 month period where effectively the visitor is resident in Bermuda for 12 months. This was legal and the stay compliant. However, this policy has changed. Visitors can stay in Bermuda for a maximum of 6 months total over a 12 month period. Put another way, no visitor can stay in Bermuda for more than 6 months cumulatively within a 12 month period. This is important as we appreciate that there are many spouses here who are visitors / residents given this loophole. If the spouse of a worker wants to assume fuller residency (with or without the ability to seek work, then he / she should seek Permission to Reside. DOI is pretty accommodating these days when it comes to allowing one to reside - they take forever to release a decision on this but not hard to get approval. Don't forget though that spouses will only be able to be sponsored as a dependent of the wp holder who earns more than a certain threshold. Acorean nationals can bring family, regardless of his / her income.     Call us direct with any questions on this.

Closed job categories 

8 January 2023


UK Biometric Testing in Bermuda - 12 January and 9 February 2023

8 January 2023

UK Visas (UK Biometrics in Bermuda on 12 January 2023 and 9 February 2023

The UK Biometrics Collection team will be in Bermuda twice in the first quarter - on 12 January and then again for one day 9 February 2023.   This is the opportunity for workers and residents to renew a visa or to make application for a new one.     Resident Passport & Visa guru, Chelsea is available to assist with your application, subject to a modest visa assistance fee.  To learn more or to schedule an appointment, go to: UK Visa Application. 

Sourcing Workers Webinar

8 January 2023

Register here for this how - to 45 min presentation on sourcing workers in 2023. This presentation will examine the demand / supply issue of its skilled population and provide an update on the changing dynamics on recruiting from the Philippines & our other traditionl source markets. The session will deal with the role and requirements of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), POLO ( ) and attaining the OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate). Hosted by the Phils based Catalyst team and our primary processing agency AMI, we will discuss the process, evolving policies, the required investment, the pitfalls and risks associated.


Register Now 

[email protected] - F&B 

8 January 2023

Our team has carefully vetted a very impressive pool of fully qualified, visa ready and POEA compliant F&B candidates.    Access the profiles of candidates we really like.    The page is continuously updated so visit often. 


Go to      ;    


Attend the Sourcing Workers in 2023 Webinar to fully understand the recruitment landscape in 2023. If you can't make it, share your job specs with us here. 

MPs pass Minimum Wage Bill

8 January 2023

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[email protected] - Nurses

8 January 2023



Our team has carefully vetted a very impressive pool of fully qualified, visa ready and POEA compliant F&B candidates. Access the profiles of candidates we really like. The page is continuously updated so visit often.

Go to ;





[email protected] - Mechanics

8 January 2023


Our team has carefully vetted a very impressive pool of fully qualified, visa ready and POEA compliant F&B candidates. Access the profiles of candidates we really like.   The page is continuously updated so visit often.


Go to ;





Comings & Goings

Meet Chelsea, Catalyst 

8 January 2023


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Wow - that was some hiatus!    See below for what we were talking bout 13 months ago! 

Economy shrinks by 6.9% in 2020 

28 November 2021

Certainly not unexpected.  The economy in 2020 shrunk by 6.9% though we appreciate that our trade sectors are operating at full capacity and struggling to keep up . GDP fell by 6.9% where 13 of the 19 sectors recorded negative growth thanks principally to Covid 19.      Overall, inflation was flat ie. prices were actually down .5% across the board.   The main points: 

  • People earned less:   Gross National Income was down 6.2% (income of the working population)
  • People are saving less; savings were down 3.2%
  • People giving less - Charities / Non Profits lost 15% of revenue 
  • Hospitality (Restaurants and Accommodations:   Down 60%
  • Arts, Entertainment & Recreation:  Down 33%
  • Transportation & Storage:  Down 22% 
  • Construction & Quarrying:  Down 24% - back at 2017 levels
  • Retail / Wholesale:  Flat
  • International Business:    Up 1%   (largest contributor to GDP, at 27%)
  • Real  Estate Activities:   Flat
  • Administrative / Support Services (Travel agencies, tour operator, bike rentals, security services, landscaping):  Down 20%
  • Households as Employers (use of nannies / housekeepers):  Down 21%

Takeways?   Construction, Landscaping - down more than 20% .    International business and real estate: flat.    And retail sales, despite the growing number of shut storefronts throughout the island, the retail sector is showing as treading water / flat.   While apparel sales on island might be down,  people are buying more food  and alcohol and are shopping online.    Sales of specialty items seem to be growth areas, but that's purely anecdotal.    While  output  in our main business sectors is down, demand for skilled resources remains very, very strong.      For many of our clients, business recovery and growth is significantly frustrated by the inability to find the people needed and the slow processing times at the Department of Immigration.   Read the full 2020 GDP Report (Published by the Department of Statistics)



Changes made to closed job list as Government extends moratorium

6 January 2023




Further Strengthening of Workplace Protections 

28 November 2021

On  Friday,  26 November, 2021, the Labour Minister, Jason Hayward gave detail to the work of the Labour Advisory Council (LAC).  The LAC was formed under recent changes to the Employment Act, and seeks to improve industrial relations, make recommendations for legislative amendments, worker policies and standards.    Its work will commence in January 2022.    It looks like the LAC will first make further amendments to the Employment Act.  Certain expected changes:   1) advanced notification to government where 20+ employees are expected to be terminated;    2) definitions / constraints / conditions around layoff periods;    3) publication of employment standards - where all work permit holders made aware of their rights and obligations under the Act and who they may contact for assistance and 4) wage theft protections - which will ensure that employees are paid for all hours worked, that overtime is covered fully, tips to employees and ensuring that deductions are properly forwarded to Social Insurance, Health, & Payroll Tax. 


The LAC will also provide guidance to industry / workers relevant to the status of the "independent contractor.  The Ministry reports that  it has received some complaints from workers / members of the public pertaining to unfair contractual terms and employment contracts that seem to take advantage of the current economic climate in Bermuda.   The LAC will issue guidance for the purpose of determining whether an employment relationship more closely resembles that of an employee than an independent contractor.   The Ministry has already floated an awareness campaign on FaceBook providing such guidance to employers and employees.   Where the revisions to the Employment Act enacted in June 2021 requires that all employees / workers have some form of contract which outlines the responsibilities of both parties, we would encourage each employer to have in place an agreement signed off by both parties which outlines expectations and responsibilities.   Call us if you assistance in drafting template agreements (available in Portuguese and Tagalog).   


Vaccination for Work Permit Holders & Newest Covid 19 Mutation

28 November 2021

Cayman, Turks and Caicos and a number of jurisdictions to our South have required that all work permit holders be fully vaccinated.  While local authorities have not mandated that wp holders in Bermuda be vaccinated, this is an ongoing topic of discussion and we would encourage that this message be shared with workers.   It may be, particularly as this newest strain leaves South Africa, that the government moves to make it mandatory that work permit holders are vaccinated.   Where we note that travellers from certain parts have been banned entry into the UK and Jamaica, as of this morning, we might see similar restrictions come into play locally.  We will have to watch this newest mutation very carefully.  

Work Permit Moratorium Relaxed

28 November 2021

The work permit moratorium which was effected in the Fall of 2020 has been recently relaxed.    Though our trades categories such as -  Carpenters, Lan‚Äčdscape Gardeners, Waiters / Servers, Electricians, Plumbers, & Masons - remain on the restricted list, we can make application for new / initial workers but all such permits shall be issued for 1 year terms (subject to renewal in 1 year) where we have to complete a fairly robust process with the Department of Workforce Development.         The challenge for those of you who need to bring in new workers are as follows:  1) make sure the applicant can get a visa in proper order to able to leave their country and transit through the gateway countries in order to get to Bermuda,    2) make sure your workers are vaccinated with a vaccine that is recognised by the Ministry of Health to avoid a costly quarantine in Bermuda and 3) keep accurate recruitment records to support your hiring practices, if ever challenged.   Be aware of what your industry's ratios are so that your company's make up is what as can be reasonably accepted.     See latest government release here.

DOI Processing Times / Landing Permits

28 November 2021

The Department of Immigration is now processing submissions of late July / August.    Where a compliant application was filed, your workers can continue to work without interruption or penalty.  Where your worker is travelling home for Christmas and does not have his renewed work permit card,  he will need a landing permit to return.  We cannot know when the final approval and card will be issued.   The cost of the landing permit is $63.     Processing time is 5-8 business days.   Should file this week if one is required.    Please email Surlena Smith at [email protected] to confirm that one has been filed or if you need assistance preparing it.   Will need the intended travel dates of your worker.