Labour Commissioner, Ray Narcisse, has said that the Labor Department is doing its best to ensure that employers comply with the law in relation to work permits.
Narcisse told the Times that under section 317 of the labor act, both the employee who hires a foreign national without the requisite permit and the person who is hired have committed an offence.
He disclosed that on summary conviction they are liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or imprisonment.
The Labour Commissioner explained that his department is as rigorous in enforcing work permit requirements as resources allow.
However he admitted that the department can be a lot more rigorous.
“We have officers engaged in inspections,” he said, adding that there have been situations in which the officers have had to apply the law.
Nevertheless, Narcisse declared that one cannot always get everyone who defies the law to comply with what is required.
He pointed out that even in countries with greater resources than Saint Lucia, illegal workers pose a problem for the authorities.
The Labour Commissioner spoke on the heels of the recent arrest here of several non-national women, described as exotic dancers, who were held at a club in the North of the Island.
The women were charged with working here without a permit.
A police Constable and a local woman were also arrested and charged.