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Six-fold increase in number of work permits issued since 2020

Six-fold increase in number of work permits issued since 2020

Monday 14 November 2022

Six-fold increase in number of work permits issued since 2020

Monday 14 November 2022

The number of people on work permits in Jersey has increased six-fold since the UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020.

In 2020, when EU passport holders still had the automatic right to live and work in Jersey, Customs and Immigration issued just 402 work permits.

The following year, 1,268 permits were issued and this year, 2,462 permits have been issued so far.

Since Brexit, all persons who are non-British or Irish now require immigration permission to visit, work, study or settle in Jersey.

Temporary work permits are granted for up to nine months in the hospitality, agricultural, construction and fishing industries. 

Skilled work permits are granted for an initial period of up to three years, which can be extended further.

Home Affairs Minister Helen Miles told Scrutiny this week 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.

She said: “We have had anecdotal and evidenced-based concerns from people who are on permits here that the terms and conditions that they have experienced when they arrived was not those that were sold to them when they first applied.

“My team at Immigration are very alive to that. Employers now have to present a copy of the employment contract to Customs and Immigration to ensure that it is not a zero-hours contract and they have employment for the full term.”

She added: “Clearly people who are coming to Jersey need to be treated fairly, with respect, are paid what they are entitled to be paid. 

“There have been some issues around significant deductions, whether they are made for transport, or the permit costs and visa themselves.

“There is also a broader piece of work going on around identifying ‘approved employers’, where we would potentially only issue permits to those employers who would have undertaken to have the necessary terms and conditions in place, including processes and procedures around grievance, disciplinary etc.

“I have met to JACS to determine ‘best practice’ so people on contracts have as much protection as they can, which means following Jersey employment law.”


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