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Jersey Chamber of Commerce

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Category: Human Resources / Manpower  Scrutiny

Key Issues Affecting Seasonal Agricultural Workers Highlighted

Feb 22, 2022

The Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel has held public hearings with the Minister for Home Affairs, Jersey Farmers’ Union and the Jersey Royal Company as part of its review of the employment of seasonal workers in the agriculture industry. Key issues highlighted during the public hearings include:

  • The flexibility of the current nine-month work permit rules;
  • A call for a 12-month work permit to help to source skilled workers;
  • That workers may be incorrectly subjected to a 20% tax rate;
  • Why there is a charge of £115 for a new work permit each time a worker returns, even if the worker has only left the Island for three months; and
  • Seasonal workers’ inability to access free healthcare for the first six months of their permit, even if they have worked in Jersey previously for that period.

The review, which emerged from concerns that current systems affecting seasonal workers within the agriculture industry lack the Government’s support in several areas, is examining the current nine-month work permit rule as well as the Social Security system under which seasonal workers in the agricultural industry are assessed.

Chair of the Economic and International Affairs Panel, Deputy David Johnson, said: “We thank the Minister and Officers, Jersey Farmers’ Union and the Jersey Royal Company for sharing their views on the current rules of employment and how these affect seasonal agricultural workers living in, and travelling to and from, Jersey. Now that the Panel has met with key stakeholders, we can begin assessing the key issues that have arisen to determine whether there is scope for an adjustment of the current rules which apply to seasonal workers in the industry.”

The Panel’s final report with its key findings and recommendations is due to be published at the end of March 2022.

Scrutiny Press Release.

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