Unmarried couples get equal employment rights

People in long term relationships in Jersey will have the same employment rights as married couples after a unanimous vote in the States today (Tuesday).

Members approved an amendment to the Control of Housing and Work Law to give the partner of an 'entitled' worker the same status, allowing them to apply for more jobs.

Ministers are hoping it will help ease the recruitment crisis, particularly in the public sector.

Assistant Chief Minister, Deputy Lucy Stephenson, said "The conversation that led to this proposal resulted from a conversation about teachers initially. We are in a recruitment crisis and there very much are jobs out there. This is a small but significant change, and we can help to plug some of the gaps."

The change will take effect in seven days' time. A couple would need to take documentation to the Customer and Local Services department to show they have been together for at least two years with one of them holding 'entitled', 'entitled to work' or 'licensed' status.

Unmarried partners are currently restricted to only working in 'registered' jobs for their first five years in the island.

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