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Department of Economic Development Work Permit System

PDMS develops new regulatory system to help the Isle of Man Government administer and issue work permits.

Project Overview

PDMS developed an online business application for the Isle of Man Government’s Work Permit Office to help them manage the process of dealing with work permits, from receipt of applications through to the issuing of the permits.

At the core of the new work permit system is a central data repository which holds all of the information on both the employers requesting the work permit and the individual applicant. It manages the application process seamlessly and has been designed to allow information to be keyed in quickly and efficiently. It enables staff in the Work Permit Office to track the applications as they are processed and to immediately view the current status of any application in the system. The system also stores scanned documents linked to individual applications.

The system automatically generates all required documentation (over 40 different types of document in total), including approval and refusal letters, renewal reminder letters as well as the actual work permits themselves. It also records payment details for each application or renewal and all payments logged in a single day are batched and stored for despatch, via email, to the Finance Section.

The second phase of the work permit development programme, brought the project into the Government’s ‘Shared Services’ programme of work (OneMann). Employers can now access the system directly to apply to renew permits online and review the details of any permits they hold or have applied for. They can also pay for permits and cancel permits online, find out which permits are due to expire first and which permits have been held the longest.

Providing direct access to certain parts of the system has significantly reduced the administration burden for Work Permit staff and has saved time traditionally spent answering telephone enquiries about application submissions. It also saves valuable time for HR staff within organisations, who can now access the information they require directly, without having to contact the Work Permit office.

Most recently, we’ve worked with the Department to deliver updates required to meet the new Control of Employment Act 2014 which came into effect on 1st October 2015.

These legislation changes allow people from professions with skills shortages, such as nurses and social workers, to be exempt from work permits. Part of the Governments Digital Strategy, the new system moves increasing amounts of the process online, improving the service delivered to tax payers as well as reducing costs for the DED. The project was undertaken by PDMS’s specialist public sector team, led by Senior Project Manager, Steve Callaghan.

Minister for Economic Development, Laurence Skelly MHK added:

“The Department’s aim is to balance the interests of Isle of Man workers, who continue to be protected by the new Act, with the need of employers to attract the skilled workers they require to be successful which will help secure the economic future of the Isle of Man. As the Chief Minister highlighted in his ‘Agenda for Change’ speech in July’s Tynwald we need to develop the enterprise strategy highlighted in Vision2020 where businesses find the right environment to flourish and Government is responsive to their needs. As part of this strategy, we need to give a much greater degree of certainty to local employers and prospective skilled workers who want to move here to take up employment.


“The reforms that we have introduced will reduce bureaucracy and make the Island even more attractive to those interested in setting up new businesses here, which will further help our commitment to achieving job creation. I would like to thank the Government Technology Service and PDMS, both of whom are helping us deliver an innovative and cost-effective IT solution which will improve the service for our customers at lower cost.”

The next stage of the project is due for delivery in early November and will deliver further enhancements including the submission of online applications in addition to the basic online renewals which exists at present.