LIBERIA: NO WORK PERMITS FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS
In a groundbreaking move towards promoting employment opportunities for Liberian citizens, the Ministry of Labour, under the leadership of Labour Minister Cllr. Charles H. Gibson, has taken a decisive step in pursuant of chapter 45 section 1 of the Decent Work Act of 2015 to deny work permits for foreign nationals brought into the country by prominent employment entities.
These entities include ArcelorMittal Liberia, Firestone Liberia, Cemenco, Orange GSM Company, GVL, WBHOSC Limited, CROWE Liberia, and others.
The denial of work permits applies to various positions such as HR System & Control Specialist, Dedicated Logistics Manager, Senior Assurance Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, Engagement Manager, Resources Coordinator, Head of Procurement & Logistics, Safety Officer, and more.
Minister Gibson emphasized that the commitment of the Government of Liberia(GoL) to uphold labor laws and to as well provide Liberian citizens with the opportunity to secure these positions.
As part of this initiative, companies seeking to employ foreign workers for specific positions are now required to publish job vacancies in local news outlets for a minimum of three consecutive days.
The transparent approach, among other things, ensures that qualified Liberian candidates have ample time to apply and compete for these positions in accordance with Liberia’s labor laws and the Decent Work Act of 2015.
Minister Gibson stated, “Our goal is to ensure that Liberians are given the first opportunity to fill positions within their own country. By requiring companies to publish job vacancies, we create a level playing field for our citizens to showcase their skills and talents.”
The Ministry averred that the decision to hire foreign workers will only come into play when qualified Liberian candidates do not meet the criteria for a given position.
“Foreign workers are intended to complement, rather than replace local talents,” he added.
In a drive to help facilitate knowledge transfer and skills development, the Ministry of Labour has mandated that for every foreign worker hired, a Liberian counterpart must work closely with the expatriate, ensuring expertise exchange and a lasting impact on the local workforce.
The Ministry’s resolute stance on denying work permits to foreign workers underscores its dedication to empowering Liberian citizens and cultivating a self-sufficient workforce.
This, the Ministry pointed out, is aligned with the government’s broader vision of fostering economic growth and reducing unemployment rates.
By fostering a culture of knowledge exchange and prioritizing the employment of Liberians, the Ministry of Labour aims to create a thriving labor market that benefits both foreign investors and the local population.
As Liberia strives for sustainable development, this bold action by the Ministry of Labour stands as a testament to its commitment to enhancing opportunities for its citizens.
The Ministry of Labour remains steadfast in promoting fair labor practices, fostering a skilled workforce, and advancing employment opportunities for the country’s citizens.
With a strong focus on upholding labor laws and creating an enabling environment for economic growth, the Ministry plays a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s workforce landscape. Through strategic initiatives and collaborations, the Ministry of Labour continues to drive positive change in Liberia’s labor sector.