News and Insights
24 May 2023
Jersey manages immigration by managing access to the island’s limited housing stock and employment resources, through the Control of Housing & Work (Jersey) Law 2012 (the “CHWJL”).
Changes are afoot as the island seeks to balance labour demands with the need to ensure adequate accommodation and support (including in relation to infrastructure, medical, childcare and educational requirements) for those who live here.
On 30 May 2023 new regulations made under the CHWJL will come into force. These regulations will extend the same rights to unmarried partners in “enduring relationships” to those provided to spouses and civil partners, in terms of access to the labour market.
At present, spouses and civil partners of persons who move to the island with Entitled, Licensed or Entitled for Work Only status under the CHWJL automatically receive their own Entitled for Work Only (“EFW”) status. By contrast, unmarried partners do not automatically obtain this benefit and instead can only take up Registered employment. Registered roles are more common in areas of the labour market which do not require academic qualifications, such as seasonal agriculture or hospitality work.
This change to the CHWJL will mean that partners in an “enduring relationship” (a relationship which is similar to marriage or civil partnership and has existed, without breaking down, for at least two years) will now automatically benefit from EHW status, enabling them to access a wider range of job opportunities than the pool of Registered roles.
With marriage in decline, this change enables unmarried partners to accompany migrant workers in certain situations, making the best economic use of the whole resident population rather than separating off a group of people on the basis of their marital status.
Further changes to the CHWJL are expected later this year, under the Control of Housing and Work (Amendment) (Jersey) Law 2022, to vary the existing CHWJL statuses, in order to support population policy and provide more responsive migration controls. This will allow the island to adapt to the ever-evolving economy and our aging population. This proposed legislation will also include new measures affecting those coming to the island, in relation to disclosure of convictions and the provision of ID information.