Changes to population law damaging local businesses, says Guernsey industry body

In April, the States changed the law so it would be easier for businesses to hire staff from all over the world. Credit: ITV Channel

Recent changes to population management laws are damaging local businesses, according to the Confederation of Guernsey Industry (CGI).

In April, the States updated the law so it would be easier for businesses to hire staff from all over the world.

Under the plans, medium-term permits were scrapped and short-term ones could only be renewed for up to three years.

At the time, Guernsey's Director of Population Management, Gary Salter, said the changes were made to mitigate the risk of people staying longer than their permit allows.

However, the CGI says the changes are creating a skills drain on the island, meaning businesses are "chronically short of trained and experienced staff".

Its chairman Dave Newman has offered to meet the President of Home Affairs, Deputy Rob Prow, to explain the situation.

He says: "It is clear to us and also worrying that Home Affairs appears to not be close enough to local businesses to understand the difficulties they are facing, so we would like our members to sit down with Deputy Prow so these concerns can be spelt out.

"As an example, one CGI member firm is having to let go loyal, dedicated employees, some with 20 years’ continuous service because the legislation will now only allow them to remain on a short term, nine month contract, which is ridiculous".

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