Gemma Handy’s work permit has been approved says Labour Minister


Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney-General, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin today stated that he signed a work permit for Gemma Handy of the Observer Media Group immediately as it was placed before him by officials of the Ministry of Labour.


The Minister made this statement in response to an allegation by representatives of the Observer Group to regional media bodies that Ms Handy’s work permit had deliberately not been renewed.


“My Government, and I personally, strongly uphold freedom of the press and the right of media workers to practice their craft to the high journalistic standards to which they swear themselves.   In the case of Ms Handy, her work permit expired on 6th January 2021, and, as all persons enjoying work permits are aware, applications for renewals are submitted three months before their expiry in order to ensure that no time elapses between the expiry of a permit and its renewal.  However, my inquiries of the Ministry’s officials reveal that Ms Handy did not apply for renewal until 16th February 2021 – four months after the required period.  Nonetheless, and despite challenges of manpower caused by COVID-19, Ministry officials processed her application in just over two months, and I signed it immediately as it was placed before me”, the Minister explained.


The Minister further stated: “My inquires as to why the renewed work permit has not yet been delivered to her is that her certificate, and that of others, are being laminated in bulk, and this was communicated to Ms Handy last week when she inquired”.


Minister Benjamin lamented the obvious attempt to suggest denial of media freedom.   He said: “Had Ms Handy complied with the requirement to submit her application for a work permit renewal three months before the current one expired, she would have received it on time on January 7th.  However, in disregard of the established rules, she submitted the application in February – four months late.   Nonetheless, Ministry officials overcame their own challenges to complete her renewal process and that of many others within two months”.


The Minister expressed his concern that “instead of being appreciative of the lengths to which Ministry officials went to complete the process in record time despite her tardiness, representatives of Observer Media sought to tar the Government with an anti-media brush”.


“This is a sad commentary on the intent of the Observer Group and I hope Ms Handy will have the good grace to admit that, despite her own disregard of known rules governing all work permits, the Ministry of Labour, and I personally, went to great pains to give her a work permit in record time”, Minister Benjamin concluded.

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  1. This media group is filled with clowns and shallow thinkers. Imagine the audacity of the AM host questioning why the former PM chose to go private for medical care as opposed to MSJMC because it is to be named after him. In the afternoon the host of the VOP was ready to run with a text which stated the Cuban vaccine was approved by WHO and CDC.

  2. This gyal picture look like when they make a photo of how a missing child from 1983 would look today

  3. If Miss Handy was “working” AFTER her permit expired and before she applied for the renewal then she should’ve been sent packing. Had this been the US, Canada or Europe she would’ve been locked up and escorted to the next available flight.

    Thank you Minister for explaining what ANR, Observer Media AND Miss Handy DELIBERATELY failed to explain to all of us.

    Follow the rules like the rest of us!

    • Sad to say but it seem that in this country even our politicians seems to have a selfesteem problem when it comes to skin color. very disappointed in my friend Cutie

  4. Break the rules and seeking sympathy…. didnt Observer Radio last year send home(laid-off) Antiguan Journalists and how is she still on and getting renewal? Observer very convenient

    • exactly! They sent home the pickeyhead people, but kept the Bakkra. Black Lives don´t matter to Serpant and Dave Lester Payne??????

  5. A lot of you just running with what the Minister said how you all know he’s speaking the truth.
    Politicians really Got you all.

  6. You people are so gullible. When Cutie farts/passes gas. You people would inhale it like smoking weed.He is filled with DUNG.Maybe he should do a flush.It eases pressure off the brain and heart.

    • I’ve been following your comments on news articles and I must say that you strike me as being non compos mentis, going after government officials simply because it does not fit with your narrative.

      The FACTS have been put out there by the Minister. If anything he has stated is untrue, Observer is free to challenge it. There is no gullibility here on the part of people. The FACT is that she submitted he renewal request AFTER the permit expired. All things being equal, she worked in the country illegally and should be deported. Stop trying to defend the indefensible.

      All of you clamour when it comes to BLACK Caribbean people working in Antigua, but suddenly find it convenient to defend those WHITES who come here and continually rape our country’s resources.

      • @WASHING BASIN:You and others are haters of white people.They are the ones.Who are controlling your economy.Those who controls your economy are in CONTROL.Take a boat around the Island of Antigua.Remove your blinders.See for yourself the out lay of the perimeter of Antigua.Then take a walk up Market Street and the other main streets around St.Johns.See who owns and controls that City.By the way,the Politicians are in the pockets of those same white people.They are the ones who financed your political elections in Antigua and Barbuda.Did you hear about the crocus bag of money that went over to Barbuda.Then some of that bag money found its way back into Antigua.I wondered which white person was the contributor of those monies.

  7. Didn’t the government say that No New Work Permits would be issued during this pandemic. What make this lady special? She is not even a Caricom National to fall under our treaty of caricom free movement skilled persons act. I really don’t understand that when a person’s skin is white even our politician bend over backwards. Shame on you my friend Cutie. There are enough Antiguans to fill that position. And if not there are enough Caricom Nationals

    • New applicants. The release said for renewals it would not be a problem partcularly if they can show there is an understudy

      • That is correct. But I don’t think at this time a workpermit should be issued to any foreigner outside of Caricom when their are qualified Antiguans available. Cutie should have stood his ground. Shame on Observer. They like to critize the government for always bringing in foreigners and they do the same thing. What special qualifications does she brings to the table that an Antiguan reporter doesn’t have.

    • Maybe Canada, uk and us should send the 10s of thousands of antiguans working there home. There are enough qualified people there already.

  8. Sidelines :I wished you would speak the same of that white man who owns Hotels, Supermarkets and Farm.Then again you red people are in all of his pockets.

    • You hear what you said. Who OWNS. That means he or she has invested their own money in our country and provide jobs to us. Those are the kind of people we want. Not people who come and take away the bread from a local person that could have done the job. It is that simple. Don’t think you can go to England and just get a workpermit.

      • @FTSidelines. You sated and I quote,
        “You don’t want people who come and take away the bread from a local person that could have done that job.” So, you only like the votes of non-nationals.
        You just confirmed what I knew all along about your ALP.

  9. Gemma jus reach by dem and done a pick up Observer lying, shady ways. You really are known by the company you keep. Girl don´t let them play you for a fool and convert you to their questionable ways. Winston Derrick myst be rolling over in his grave again.

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