Government and the Expatriate Worker, a Timeless Love Affair

Government and the Expatriate Worker, a Timeless Love Affair - VISITSEYCHELLESThe dichotomy between the treatment of an expatriate worker and a Seychellois employee in our Country is as wide as the bureau craticred tape hampering progress within each and every Governmental department. In the public sector, particularly within the legal and law enforcement fields, expats are placed on a pedestal, with disgruntled Seychellois feeling the disparity in level of respect being afforded by their superiors, salary being received, and countless other perks being bestowed upon their foreign colleagues, including transportation to and from work, a plane ticket home once a year with excess baggage, and free accommodation in a fancy dwelling.

Whilst many Seychellois are easily immersed into family enterprises, the majority of Seychellois professionals have to rely on the job market in order to make their mark –A job market that is not only competitive with long-standing Seychellois professionals, but also bursting at the seams with foreign workers.

From both the public and private sectors, we have received countless accounts of Seychellois having to train expatriate staff and “show them the ropes”, despite earning far less than their foreign counterparts. To add insult to injury, many of the foreigners in ‘managerial positions’ are reportedly running illegal businesses on the side, evading the same taxes that pay for their roads, utilities, healthcare, schooling for their children, and their plane tickets to and from their home Countries.

While (long ago) skilled Seychellois were once lacking in key fields, there is presently a high number of capable, motivated and qualified youths ready and willing to assume the roles that are presently saturated with expatriates. Over the past decade, countless Seychellois attorneys’ applications for a post at the Attorney-General’s Chambers have been unceremoniously rejected, only for yet another expatriate worker to be welcomed into the fold weeks later. This expatriate will then require months to familiarize himself with the local law, whereas a Seychellois attorney would have been able to hit the ground running.

It would appear that Government’s history of uncoordinated and clumsy policy-making has produced another fiasco; while the public sector is allowed to retain its foreign workers, the private sector has been cast to the wolves. It is no secret that the private sector primarily funds and financially supports the public sector. If the private sector crumbles, which it presently is, the public sector will very soon feel the pressure and experience cut-backs on their allowances and budgets.

While Government has promised financial assistance to the private sector to assist them, the selective picking and choosing of businesses to benefit from the coveted aid has resulted in countless tourism-reliant businesses letting staff go and making other drastic cut-backs. Now, rather than creating an enabling environment for these businesses to flourish once the airport re-opened to the world, Government has once again tightened the noose around their necks by revoking all GOPs of workers who are presently outside of Seychelles (i.e., those who were sent away prior to the borders closing, more often than not on the advice of the Government). These GOP-holders have assets in Seychelles (personal effects, bank accounts, etc.,), and some families have been abruptly alienated with the rolling out of this new Government policy.

Everything is up in the air at the moment, with locally-owned and managed tourism enterprises unsure how to proceed now that their key staff members are stuck abroad and tourists are beginning to arrive. The Country is falling apart at the seams, with awkward decision-making by our Government forcing tourism-reliant businesses into bankruptcy, and their insistence on saturating the public sector with foreigners while the private sector flounders is causing resentment to ripple unimpeded through the population.

We need to reclaim our industries and save them from continuous and poor Government policies that are being rolled out by individuals who have never worked in the private sector, and who evidently have low regard for the Seychellois workforce. We need to save our Country from poor decision-making by people who are inexperienced and unqualified to be making said decisions. We desperately need technocrats to take the helm and hit the ground running this October. We need One Seychelles.

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