'Registered' islanders could become 'entitled to work' to ease recruitment pressures

Some people with 'registered' status under the island's Control of Housing and Work law could become 'entitled to work' to alleviate recruitment challenges, if States Members agree. Credit: ITV Channel

Some people in Jersey with the 'registered' residential status could become 'entitled to work', if States Members approve a proposition from Deputy Raluca Kovacs.

The island's Control of Housing and Work law limits who can own or occupy homes in Jersey, as well as capping how many employees can work on the island without an employment licence.

But the St Saviour politician is calling for the rules to be temporarily relaxed to allow people who have been 'registered' since before 31 December 2020 to become 'entitled to work' until December 2025, or they qualify for the status after living in Jersey for more than five years.

What are Jersey's housing and work categories?

  • Entitled: People who have lived in Jersey for 10+ years, were born on the island or have lived there since childhood. They can buy, sell or rent any property or work anywhere without needing a licence.

  • Licensed: People who are 'essential employees', brought over to the island to work in a specialised, often senior, role. They can buy, sell or rent any property as long as they retain their licence through their employer.

  • Entitled to work: People who have lived in Jersey for 5+ years, or are married/in a civil partnership with someone who is entitled/licensed/entitled to work. They can buy a property jointly with their partner and work anywhere without requiring a licence.

  • Registered: Someone who has lived in Jersey for fewer than five years and doesn't fit any of the above criteria. They can rent certain properties or live as a lodger, and require a licence from their employer to work.

The proposition was put forward by St Saviour Deputy Raluca Kovacs. Credit: ITV Channel

Deputy Kovacs also wants partners to have the same right to work, and for the Chief Minister to look into the possibility of reducing the five-year residency requirement to become 'entitled to work' in Jersey.

She says the island's employment market is changing, and legislation needs to reflect that: "Over the last three years or so there has been a shift from an employers’ market to a position where we have the lowest rates of unemployment since 2011 and employers in a variety of sectors are having difficulty recruiting staff.

"The government regulation of employment needs to change in response to this changed situation."

Deputy Kovacs goes on to say: "Under the current regulations, people who have lived in Jersey for less than five years are prevented from taking up work in many of the roles for which employers are finding it difficult to recruit staff."

Want to find out more about the stories making the headlines? Don't miss Channelcast - the Channel Islands current affairs podcast brought to you by ITV News: