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Cap 115 provides for the issuance of work permits to non nationals to be engaged in gainful employment in Grenada. The Legislation gives the Minister for Labour discretionary authority to grant or not to grant a work permit. Moreover, the Minister is not required to give any reason for his or her action. The Ministry of Labour recognises that the entertainment industry has a critical role to play in the economic activities of the country and that the issuing of work permits is central to the industry. However, the issuing of work permits is not an end in itself and must be guided by consistent and predictable policies that will consider the interest of all the stakeholders that is, the private investors and Government.
The variable interest of religion and nationalism must be considered in the development of that policy. Religion, because 90% of nationals belong to some religious persuasion. Nationalism as it touches and concerns national celebrations, national identity, cultural penetration and the development of national culture.
The issue is to what extent the state should protect national celebrations and cultural practices. This interest must be weighed against the need for private enterprise to thrive and the entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world that we in Grenada must ensure that we facilitate.
The general principle therefore is that work permits should be granted as a matter of course in accordance with Section 4 of Cap 115 of the Revised Laws of Grenada. However, work permits will be refused under the following circumstances:
1. Performers who promote violent, lude conduct must not be allowed to perform in the state of Grenada.
2. Religious holidays, that is, Holy Week, that is from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday Corpus Christi, Whit Sunday. While applications would be considered for the other period of Lent, this is based solely on the artists and the type of material as we would want to ensure that the beliefs of the religious community are maintained during that period. Promoters are encouraged to consider artists who are inclined to sing religious or spiritual music.
3. Independence celebrations – no work permit would be granted on Independence Day or for or on any day when a major independence activity is held.
4. Christmas: Work permits will be granted during the Christmas Season except on Christmas Eve. However, issuance of the permits will be dependent on the artists.
5. The Spicemas Corporation would develop its own policy with regards to work permits during the carnival season.
6. Regarding Disc Jockeys. The same policy holds for Disc Jockeys.
Procedure for Issuance of Work Permits:
1. Work permit applications must be submitted to the Ministry of Labour well in advance of the proposed activity
2. At least three working days will be required for processing of work permits
3. Application for work permit forms must be fully completed and must be accompanied by the following documents
- Copy of bio data page of the artist passport
- Background information on the artist
4. Work permit certificates will only be issued upon receipt of evidence that VAT and withholding tax. Please note that the withholding is payable on the fees payable to the artist and VAT on the tickets
5. No advertising of any kind should be undertaken until work permit has been approved, and the Promoter signs the Agreement which outlines the Terms and Conditions of the grant of the Permit
6. Discussion must be held with the Royal Grenada Police Force concerning adequate security plan for the event as well as a time for conclusion of the activity
7. In addition to adequate security, promoters must have an adequate health and safety plan for the activity. This include public liability insurance and arrangements to deal with emergencies e.g. ambulance and health brigade
8. There must be clearly defined entrances and exits, preferable separated. The practice of “lockdown” during shows will not be allowed
9. Persons under the age of eighteen should not be allowed entry at shows, unless in specific circumstances, when accompanied by a parent or guardian. An ID requirement and use should be part of the Promoters’ advertisement
10.In cases where artists are in possession of skilled certificates, these certificates must be presented to the Ministry of Labour and the requisite other conditions fulfilled.
Promoters would be held accountable for any breach of the conditions stipulated above and can be fined for non compliance.
This document will form the basis for
discussions at the Meeting with Minister of Labour Hon. Glynis Roberts
and Minister with responsibility for Culture, Sen. the Hon. Arley Gill
today Wednesday 25th January, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at the Conference Room
of the Ministry of Works, Level 4, Ministerial Complex, Botanical