At this point it is probably worth remembering what was in place before in the Housing Licence system. As someone who moved to Guernsey under the old regime being told that I may have to leave after 5 years, but without any certainty as to whether I could stay beyond that point it was a daunting decision. For all of the criticisms that have been levelled at the Population Management Law, the one thing that it has brought businesses is a far greater degree of certainty with the introduction of the concept of an approved list of “in-policy” roles is that if the job you are applying for is on that list you will get a permit.

As was widely reported in the months’ after the introduction of the new law, there were significant delays in processing applications, which sometimes extended into months’ which caused real problems for many businesses going through recruitment. However those delays were principally down to the introduction of the new online Population Management Portal through which applications were made. In fairness to the States, as anyone who has ever implemented a new IT system will attest, it is almost impossible to do so without some teething problems. These issues have now largely been resolved with Population Management aiming to work towards new service standards.

So if the Law brings certainty and the new portal allows decisions to be made quickly why has it proved so controversial? In essence this boils down to the fact that with such low unemployment, almost all businesses are dependent to some extent on recruitment from overseas, and placing further barriers such as the requirement to leave after 5 years makes that difficult job even harder. In the world of recruitment which is increasingly a global market, and that is true whether you are running a financial services business or a restaurant, should we be placing any restrictions on who can come and work in Guernsey – or to put it another way is the Law the solution to yesterday’s problem?

These are without doubt political questions which need analysis and the reality is that the Law is unlikely to change substantially in the near future. However, what can be changed and can be done quickly is our approach to the list of “in-policy” roles which attract employment permits. Whilst this may be a controversial thing for a lawyer to say, but Guernsey probably already has enough lawyers and accountants, and where the shortages in recruitment have been the most acute has been around areas such as hospitality and other similar areas. If this is the case then why not completely open up this area to long-term employment permits for a few years and see what happens? Once the shortages have been addressed then it would be an equally straightforward process to revert the current policy.

The reality is with the current uncertainties around how recruitment is going to look in a post-Brexit world, Guernsey needs to try and stay one step ahead in the market and if we can offer certainty to some of the best candidates who might otherwise have gone to the UK, why not do that?

Key contacts

Jeremy Berchem

Office Managing Group Partner*: Guernsey

T +44 (0)1481 755 601
E Email Jeremy

Anthony Williams

Partner: Guernsey

T +44 (0)1481 755 622
E Email Anthony

Richard Field

Partner: Guernsey

T +44 (0)1481 755 610
E Email Richard

Share
Twitter LinkedIn Email Save as PDF
More Publications
30 Jul 2021 |

Fighting international fraud

First published in New Law Journal, July 2021. Appleby partners Anthony William and Jared Dann an...

Contributors: Jared Dann, Claire Corkish
20 May 2021 |

The Gender Pay Gap Debate – a response to comments on social media

As a lawyer the majority of articles we write are about a particular case or a legal issue – which...

4 May 2021 |

New Private Investment Funds in Guernsey

In December 2020, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (Commission) published a consultation p...

Contributors: Oratile Jonas
16 Mar 2021 |

Guernsey Structures - The Cannabis Investment Conundrum

Jurisdictions around the world have adopted different positions in relation to the legality of the c...

12 Mar 2021 |

Material adverse change clauses in light of the Covid-19 pandemic

Experts from each of our key global offices provide jurisdiction specific advice and answer question...

8 Mar 2021 |

Appleby Celebrates International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated annually in support of gender equality and equal participa...

23 Feb 2021 |

Fit and Proper in the Channel Islands – A Regulatory Enforcement Update

It is sometimes easy to forget with all that has happened over the last 12 months that there was a w...

27 Jan 2021 |

Levies, registration and all that jazz

Regulatory markets evolve at various speeds and the data protection regime is one example of a marke...

6 Jan 2021 |

Executors navigating the “perfect (company) storm”

Corporate governance has become one of the most hotly debated topics in recent years. Whether it be ...

Contributors: Paula Fry