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Are Jersey's work permit holders safe from modern slavery?

Are Jersey's work permit holders safe from modern slavery?

Thursday 09 February 2023

Are Jersey's work permit holders safe from modern slavery?

Thursday 09 February 2023

A new panel of politicians has been set up to examine whether temporary workers coming to the island to live and work are adequately protected from exploitation and modern-day slavery.

Led by Deputy Beatriz Porée, the Work Permit Holder Welfare Review Panel will probe the effectiveness of the island's current Work Permit Policy.

At a Scrutiny Panel hearing in November 2022, Home Affairs Minister Deputy Helen Miles raised concerns regarding the welfare of permit holders, stating that Immigration Officers had dealt with several breaches, including employers offering zero-hours contracts to islanders on a work permit, which is not allowed, and companies attempting to lay off workers before their nine-month permit had ended.

The panel's agreed objectives include examining the effectiveness of Jersey's Work Permit Policy in protecting holders, assessing the welfare obligations placed on employers of work permit olders and assessing the financial obligations that employers and work permit holders have to the Government and visa versa. 


Pictured: A work permit is required by anyone who needs immigration permission to live and work in Jersey. The permits are applied for by prospective employers and are used for temporary and for skilled workers.

Furthermore, the Review Panel decided that greater clarity is needed on the entire process of obtaining a Jersey work permit, including the relationship between Jersey work permits and UK visas.

They also want to ensure permit holders are safe from 'modern slavery'.

Anti-Slavery International, the world's oldest human rights group, defines modern slavery as when an individual is exploited by others, for personal or commercial gain. 

This includes but is not limited to human trafficking, forced labour and debt bondage. In the UK, more than 130,000 people are estimated to be the victims of modern day slavery.

The Review Panel has agreed to organise Public Hearings with the relevant Ministers, departments and stakeholders as well as a public survey carried out in order to gather evidence from Work Permit Holders. 

Beatriz Poree.jpg

Pictured: Deputy Beatriz Porée is chairing the Work Permit Holder Welfare Review Panel.

Chair of the panel Deputy Beatriz Porée said: "We hope that a thorough review of the welfare of Work Permit holders will ensure those coming to our island for short-term work contracts can live and work in favourable and fair conditions.

"We also hope that this review will generate greater clarity concerning the processes involved in attaining, and living with, a work permit, for all stakeholders.

"The Panel welcomes all those who have views or evidence relevant to the remit of this review to contact a member of the Panel.”

Also on the panel are Connétable Marcus Troy, Deputy Lyndsay Feltham, Deputy Montfort Tadier; and Deputy Mary Le Hegarat.

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Posted by john garner on
This is the risk when peoples residency depend on working for a particular employer who seem to always be in agriculture or hospitality
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