• 81 employees for Constance group are here for two months only

 As of May 14, 2021, there are 745 jobseekers that have been registered with the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs. 580 are from Mahé and 165 from Praslin.

This was revealed by Benilda Cupidon, the director general for labour migration, in a press meet held yesterday at the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs. Steve Monnaie, director general for labour relations, also attended the meeting.

The focus of the press conference was on the recent arrival of 81 Mauritians who will work for the Constance group for two months and also the status of unemployment in Seychelles.

“In line with the Revised GOP Framework and new Employment Strategies, all requests for non-Seychellois workers are submitted at the employment department where emphasis is being placed on promotion of employment opportunities for Seychellois before consideration is given to non-Seychellois recruitments. Both Constance Lemuria and Ephelia have vacancies for full-time posts and were encouraged to undertake a recruitment campaign in collaboration with the employment department in March 2021. The posts have been advertised, recruitment is taking place and referral of jobseekers is on-going,” explained Ms Cupidon.

However, “the management of the hotels approached the employment department around mid-May to request for the ministry’s consideration for task force in view that they are registering a high number of bookings with occupancy in the eighties for the months ahead. The task force would serve as a temporary relief for the hotel to enable the hotel to deliver the service to their clients in the period of high occupancy while the recruitment campaign is underway”.

According to Ms Cupidon, “approval was conveyed on May 25 for Lemuria and Ephelia to bring in a taskforce of 112 non-Seychellois workers for a maximum period of 3 months on the basis that: (I) the taskforce is only for a period of 2 months to assist with the business operations and (ii) the non-Seychellois workers are employed with the sister hotels in Mauritius and will return to their country after the 2 months’ timeframe to resume their employment with their respective hotels”.

But on June 9, the actual number of workers that came in the country was 31 non-Seychellois out of 39 posts approved for Constance Lemuria and 51 non-seychellois out of 73 posts approved for Constance Ephelia. Ms Cupidon also stressed on the fact that both hotels are still operating within their quota: Constance Lemuria Resort Seychelles (55% quota) - current quota level 43% and Constance Ephelia Resort Seychelles (70% quota) - current quota level 44%.

Mr Monnaie noted that many hotels expressed the difficulties they are facing right now. “Our Ministry keeps receiving complaints on both sides – the employers and the employees. The most common problem raised is the attitude and also the fact that in many cases the Seychellois do not understand each other. It is a policy to have Seychellois as the human resource managers in the hotels as they need to be well versed with our employment laws. Our ministry has also a human resource forum where we meet with the HR managers and refresh them with the laws and also how to better protect the employers and the employees on all sides. In Seychelles, there are more than 12,000 employers and we have a team of only 12 inspectors. With the Covid situation and the lack of materials, it is quite impossible to visit all the businesses regularly. They do receive at least a visit per year and we encourage both employers and employees to report any anomaly to us.”

Mr Monnaie also talked about the role of the ministry in placing people in work. “We do have a list of people and we do follow with their HR after they get employed. With the budget we have, the ministry has been able to place many people into work. But the question we are asked often is why people are not staying in their jobs. We do receive many of these complaints and we see many of them on social media also. Some complaints also entail the contract of work of the employees. If there is any violation of contract, we will advise the employee to either make a case with us and we will also investigate the case. Recently when we investigated the cases, we did find out that there were some abuses and we gave the necessary warnings. There are also situations where people applied for a job but did not get any reply. The HR or the general managers have been called in and they have been asked. We want to protect our Seychellois workers and prevent abuse. But these issues should be reported properly through the right channel.”


Job market

Currently there are 745 jobseekers that are registered with the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs – 580 on Mahé and 165 on Praslin. As of May 14, two thousand nine hundred and six (2906) vacancies were registered in the following departments: Tourism – 1229; Construction – 765 and Manufacturing – 555.

Ms Cupidon also noted that the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs has received 4738 applications for non-Seychellois employment as at May 14 and the top 3 are: Construction – 1926; Tourism – 946 and Manufacturing – 449. Out of these demands 2681 posts were approved and majority comes from the construction industry.

The short term GOPs have been approved as a short-term solution to enable the hotels to confirm the bookings and deliver the service to the clients while they look to fill the permanent posts. The objective of the ministry is to ensure that locals with the skills and qualifications are considered for the permanent positions within the company.

Ms Cupidon and Mr Monnaie both urged the public to be aware of the opportunities that exist on the labour market and also warned the employers to be truthful when looking for a worker.

“The ministry does not approve xenophobic behaviour from both sides. A foreign worker also leaves his/her family to come work here and needs to be treated with respect. We would not want that to happen to us when we go work in a different country,” concluded Ms Cupidon.

Mr Monnaie reminded all employers/employees that they function under a legal framework. “Nobody is above the law. We have seen in many cases where the employees are scared to approach their employers. At the ministry we are here to defend any policy/law under our governance. We are here to look into the well-being of our workforce and make sure that you are in a conducive work place and anybody can call the hotline 2823400 and all calls remain anonymous.”


Vidya Gappy