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Jersey Chamber of Commerce

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Category: States Assembly

Scrutiny Concerned by Inconsistent Tax Rates for Work Permit Holders

May 16, 2023

Last week, the Work Permit Holder Welfare Review Panel (“the Panel”) held two Public Hearings, questioning representatives of the Jersey Farmers’ Union (Wednesday 10 May) and the Jersey Hospitality Association (Thursday 11 May).

Similar themes emerged from both hearings, including the difficulties faced by many work permit holders in understanding Jersey’s tax system. The Panel heard that in some cases, this confusion has led to work permit holders relying on their employers to make inquiries to the tax office on their behalf. 

The Panel was also informed that tax rates are inconsistent when comparing two workers in the same role and on the same salary. Marcus Calvani, co-Chief Executive Officer for the Jersey Hospitality Association, identified getting workers on the correct tax rate as one of their “main problems” and reinforced that the information currently provided to work permit holders around tax is insufficient. 

In both hearings, the Panel also heard about the problems caused for local businesses by the 9-month work permits offered to many workers, such as the expense associated with training and integrating a worker into a company for such a short period of time. The Panel was informed about the significant pressure created for businesses and remaining staff when the permit holder has completed their 9-month contract and must leave Jersey for three months, often leaving businesses understaffed. 

Furthermore, both the Jersey Farmers’ Union and the Jersey Hospitality Association noted that the list of roles characterized as “skilled” by the Work Permit Policy is insufficient to meet Jersey’s recruitment needs. The Panel heard that certain roles, including herdsmen and tractor drivers, are currently not listed as “skilled”. As a result, if an employer needed to fill such a vacancy, they would have to put forward a special case application, which is a lengthy process and often ends with applications being rejected. 

It was noted by representatives from the Jersey Farmers’ Union that modern tractors are extremely complicated and expensive pieces of machinery, which require extensive training and a great deal of skill to drive safely.

Deputy Beatriz Porée, Chair of the Work Permit Holder Welfare Review Panel, commented: 

“It is concerning to hear about the issues that the Jersey Farmers’ Union and the Jersey Hospitality Association are experiencing. In both Hearings, the Panel was informed about the difficulties for work permit holders in getting the correct tax rates, understanding tax matters, and paying their taxes in cases where the work permit holder will already have left the Island by the time their letter arrives. We will continue to gather evidence around the experience of work permit holders so that progress can be made to make the process smoother for everyone involved.”  

The full recordings of both hearings can be accessed here.

States Assembly Press Notice

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