Jersey - Information for those wishing to live and work in the Island ( 3.1.2. )
Jersey is approximately 45 square miles in area. It is part of the British Isles but not part of the United Kingdom, it is not a Member State of the European Union. Jersey has its own government known as the States of Jersey.
A ministerial system of government was introduced in December 2005. The Council of Ministers consists of the Chief Minister and nine other Ministers.
The population of the island at the last Census in March 2001 was 87,186. The estimated population in 2007 was 90,800.
1. Registration Cards - See http://www.gov.je/Working/Contributions/RegistrationCards/Pages/home.aspx
2. Work permits
British Citizens and nationals of a Member State of the European Economic Area do not need work permits in Jersey. Other exemptions include a Commonwealth Citizen coming to Jersey for a working holiday or having a UK born grandparent, but these people would have to obtain entry clearance before arriving in Jersey. All other people require work permits which have to be applied for by the prospective employer. The Immigration and Nationality Deparment administer the issue of permits and will consider the following:-
Work permits for seasonal or part-time staff will be for a maximum of nine months, the maximum duration of other work permits is normally three years although in exceptional cases this can be increased to five years.
3. Other employment regulations
Even when work permits are not required there can be a problem gaining employment. An employer is required to endeavour to fill any vacancy with a local person (or one who has lived here for the past consecutive five years), if unable to do so then a licence would have to be applied for to enable them to employ a person who has been in the island for less than five years. Some employers will have a 'blanket licence' enabling them to employ such people, these include members of the tourism and agricultural industries. There are also arrangements for members of the construction industry when employed on specific contracts. It is the vacancy that has to be licenced, not the employee.
You should check with prospective employers as to whether they are able to employ a newcomer to the island.
Jersey has very strict housing laws which specify who can rent or buy property and more specifically who can live in it.
A small number of people each year who are considered to be of social and/or economic benefit to the island are granted consent to purchase dwelling accommodation. The properties which they can buy are usually outside the price range of the generality of local purchasers. Application is normally made through the client's accountant to the Housing Minister.
Some people are granted 'essential employee' status and are required to occupy accommodation either owned or leased by their employer. These people fill jobs for which there are insufficient locally qualified applicants, eg doctors, dentists, accountants, bankers, teachers, nurses and some other professions. Although there are exceptions, most of these permits are for a short term contract of three or five years.
Most people who come to work in Jersey can only live in registered accommodation.
In Jersey, there are two types of annual rate levied on a property, 'occupiers' and 'foncier'. The owner pays both but if there is a tenant, she/he pays the 'occupiers' rate. In the case of lodgings, the rates are included within the rent. An Island wide rate is collected by the Parish in which you live and paid to the States of Jersey Treasury
The general domestic tariff is as follows: Daily service charge (payable whether or not electricity is used) 14.40 pence per day and for each unit (1 kilowatt) consumed, 12.44 pence. (As at January 2010). In lodgings and lodging houses it is common for the landlord to have installed meters and the charges can be higher than those charged by the Jersey Electricity Company.
Not all properties in Jersey are connected to the gas supply.
Small domestic users would find the Super Economy 24 tariff most suited to their needs. The unit charge is 8.93 pence (up to 54.79 units per day) and standing charge is 30.85p per day [ wef 20/01/ 2010].
Bottled gas is readily available.
Water / drainage
The quartely standing charge for the supply of water from Jersey Water is £5. Unless a property has a water meter,water rates are dependent on the rateable value of the property. Basically, the more rent you pay, the higher your water charges. The price of metered water is £2.33 per cubic metre [April 2009]. Not all properties are connected to mains water and mains drainage (approximately 18% not connected). If a property has it's own water supply (well, bore-hole or rainwater catchment) there are no water rates. Water rates are not charged separately for lodgers.
Properties not connected to mains drainage use soakaways or private treatment systems. The Transport and Technical Services Department operate tankers which will empty soakaways or storage tanks as necessary.
Income tax is charged on gross income less admissible charges and certain personal allowances and reliefs. The standard rate of income tax is 20%. Income Tax is deducted monthly by an employer to pay the tax liability for the current year. The tax year is from 1 January to 31 December. New arrivals in the Island should register with the Income Tax Department
The default rate for the Income Tax Instalment System is 20%.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
GST is a 5% tax charged on the sale of most goods and services.
8. Social Security
Social Security Contributions are payable by persons employed for eight hours or more each week. For the employee, Social Security is charged at 6% of gross income with a monthly ceiling of £221.16 for employed persons and £460.75 per month for self-employed. (As at 2011). The employer pays 6.50%. Ceiling is amended annually.
On arrival in Jersey you should visit the Social Security Department which is situated in Philip Le Feuvre House, La Motte Street. Take your UK National Insurance card or number with you (if applicable). You will be issued with a Social Security card which should be given to your employer at the commencement of employment.
Social Security benefits will depend on contributions having been paid for a period of time, this period varies depending on the benefit being claimed.
There is no Jobseeker's Allowance in Jersey. Income Support Benefit is available to those who have been continuously resident in Jersey for a period of at least five years or a consecutive period of ten years at any time in the past..
9. Medical care
After a person has been living in Jersey for six months, it is possible to obtain a Health Benefits Card from the Social Security Department. This entitles people to receive a contribution of £19 towards the cost of general practitioners' bills and to have free prescriptions.
Hospital treatment is free after a 12 month period of residency or 6 months if the individual has paid Income Tax or Social Security contributions. Treatment will not be free if the individual arrived with a pre-existing condition.
French nationals may apply for a Health Benefit Card as soon as they arrive to take up employment in Jersey.
Any persons arriving in the Island to take up permanent residency may obtain a Health Benefits Card if they have previously been registered with the Social Security Department in Jersey in the past for a consecutive period of six months.
For visitors and persons who have been in Jersey for less than six months, there is a rota of general practitioners' surgeries who will see patients under a scheme operated by the States of Jersey. A fee for the consultation will be charged and the full private prescription charge for each item dispensed.
Free emergency hospital treatment is available for visitors from countries with a reciprocal health care agreement with Jersey. The countries are as follows: Australia, Austria, Barbados, France, Guernsey & Alderney, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the UK.
Visitors and seasonal workers/newcomers from all other countries should ensure they have adequate private health insurance. Countries without reciprocal health care agreements include Ireland, Poland and Kenya. A daytime visit to a doctor's surgery is likely to cost approximately £35 - £45, the cost of drugs varies greatly and can be very costly.
Treatment provided solely within Jersy's A&E Department will still be free. However, charges will apply for any emergency treatment (e.g. operations) provided elsewhere in the hospital as a result of the accident or illness. Out-patient appointment, GP visits and any other health related services will also have a charge.
People with existing travel or health insurance policies are advised to check that the policy covers travel to Jersey.
Dentists in Jersey are not connected to the health scheme, most will require payment at the time of treatment.
Education in Jersey is of a high standard. Children start school at the beginning of the term in which they become five, they must remain at school until they are sixteen. There are three systems, the free States schools, the fee-paying States schools and the private fee-paying schools.
Jersey has a fairly low crime rate. In common with most places, there is some drug abuse. The penalties for drug offences are very severe with producing, supplying or intent to supply Class A drugs carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and unlimited fine. Sniffer dogs are used at points of entry to the Island, airport and harbour.
12. Parishes and Parish Halls
Jersey is divided into twelve parishes. Each parish has its own municipality, each has its own rates, licensing authority, police force, politicians, electoral roll and more. The offices are based in a Parish Hall(or in the case of St Martin, the Public Hall and St Helier has the Town Hall). See Parish websites
13. Checklist for Newcomers
14. Further Information
15. Some useful telephone numbers