The Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel has launched a review of the rules of employment for seasonal workers in the agricultural industry following concerns raised by the Jersey Farmers’ Union.
As part of its review, the Panel will examine:
Whether the nine-month work permit allowance for seasonal workers in the agricultural industry is fit for purpose and whether it is possible to extend it.
The Social Security system under which seasonal workers are assessed.
The current system for issuing visas to seasonal workers.
As part of its review, the Panel will consult relevant stakeholders in the agriculture industry and Ministers before presenting a report highlighting its findings and recommendations to the States Assembly by the end of March.
The chairman of the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel, Deputy David Johnson, said: ‘This review emerged from concerns that current systems affecting seasonal workers within the agricultural industry lack government support in several areas. Given the concern that some of the issues raised may be having a negative impact on the larger rural economy, our panel will undertake a high-level review and seek to determine whether there is scope for greater flexibility and adjustment of the current rules that apply to seasonal workers in Jersey’s agricultural industry.’
The panel’s terms of reference for the review are as follows:
- To examine the existing system of approval of temporary work permits for seasonal workers in agriculture as detailed in the Government of Jersey’s Work Permit Policy and Procedures Policy to include:
- The examination of the 9 month seasonal route for working in agricultural and assess if it is still fit for purpose.
- To assess if there is any flexibility in the present allowance for work permits for agricultural workers to be extended, if required.
- To examine how work visas and work permits are issued and the reason for bottlenecks and delays and assess if these can be alleviated.
- To examine the social security system under which seasonal workers in the agriculture industry are assessed to include:
- How social security is calculated for seasonal workers working in the agricultural industry.
- How the social security system for seasonal workers working in the agricultural industry is accessed.
- What dispensations are given, if any, to accommodate the social security payments of seasonal workers working in the agricultural industry.
- To examine the existing system as to calculation of level of offset for provision of accommodation for workers in the agriculture industry.