Work permissions and immigration policy
In last month’s newsletter, the JHA raised concerns about the direction being taken by the Migration Policy Development Board in its interim report on a new migration policy. The MPDB provides advice to the Chief Minister and is working on proposals in parallel to a new immigration policy. The MPDB is looking at whether a new system of work permissions should be introduced.
Among 4 new types of permissions being looked at would be one (known as W) that seeks to restrict the number of temporary staff allowed into the island, while another (known as Z) seems to ease the passage of those deemed to bring greater economic benefit to the island. While Z would help the finance industry attract the skills it needs, for the agricultural, retail and hospitality sectors who would rely on W to get permission for staff, this has the potential to bring the whole thing down.
- Staff would be restricted to working for no more than 9 months before having to apply again after 3 months away from the island.
- They would have to live in a lodging house or staff accommodation.
- They would not be allowed to bring dependent children and have to pay a surcharge to access hospital and health services.
The JHA have met the panel and do not agree with the direction it seems to be taking at all and is questioning why this would be brought in when there are going to be lots of controls already under the new immigration law. It leans heavily towards those that are high economic generators and while it may bring plenty of people into the top finance jobs, there may be no one left to serve them dinner in our restaurants.