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Cayman Islands Government

OWS Explained Further

ESO and HR Ministry highlighted to stakeholders the Occupational Wage Survey that starts 18 October.

Stakeholders from the corporate and private sector attended a presentation at the Chamber of Commerce conference room this morning (Monday, 16 October 2017) on the Cayman Islands’ Occupational Wage Survey (OWS) 2017.

Starting Wednesday, 18 October 2017 and running until 29 December 2017, all private and public sector employers will be asked to provide data for all persons they employ, in a survey conducted by Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) personnel at the request of the Ministry of Human Resources.

The survey highlights include:

• Data now sought is not currently available. The survey will help inform government policy and future legislation in the Cayman Islands, as well as improve the quality of labour market information, and provide a picture of the local wage landscape.

• The survey, designed, and to be conducted, according to international standards, will bring Cayman Islands on par with other countries in the region.

• All data will be completely confidential – no information about names of businesses, employers and employees will be obtained. Survey takers will remain entirely anonymous, according to the provisions of the amended Statistics Law. Individual information will not be made public.

• Only aggregated information (such as averages and numbers across groups and categories) will be released, as is the norm with all ESO data provided.

• Information gathered also cannot be sought or disclosed under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Law provisions.

Also in attendance was Minister for Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Roy McTaggart, Human Resources Ministry Chief Officer, Mr. Wesley Howell and top ministry staff.

Speaking on behalf of the Premier and Minister for Human Resources, Councillor, Mr. Austin Harris emphasised, ‘The survey will generate a database of reliable and internationally-comparable labour market information, which would be useful for decision-making by government and government entities as well as the private sector employers and employees.”

He said, “Results from the occupational wage survey will be used to assist in developing a comprehensive employment and compensation database which could also be used by private and public sector employers alike to review wages across those sectors.”

But, he re-emphasised, no individual employer or employee data would be divulged by ESO to the Ministry or any other government entity, with the information captured for statistical purposes only and released only in aggregate form.

He urged all employers to participate actively in the survey and added, “The results will help you make decisions and your human resource staff to develop competitive policies that attract, motivate and retain the talent needed to support your business strategy.”

In her presentation, ESO Director Ms Maria Zingapan also highlighted the confidentiality of the survey, similar to business surveys they have conducted over the years. No individual information will be provided to the Ministry of Human Resources and other organisations, she reiterated. The Director mentioned as examples the occupational wage surveys conducted regularly by the US and Singapore.

In response to a number of queries, especially from Chamber CEO, Mr. Wil Pineau, ESO will make further presentations to the Chamber membership.

Also in response to suggestions from the stakeholders, the ESO will add three more questions to the survey to ensure a better data capture.

For further information contact: Bina Mani