The Committee for Home Affairs agreed to be more flexible in population management applications and consider permit extensions earlier this summer following concerns raised by a range of businesses about the implications of Covid and Brexit on employing people from outside the island.
The committee said individuals or businesses with concerns about permits expiring or recruiting replacement staff should get in contact as ‘there may be solutions’ to allow staff to stay.
‘Our committee has consistently said that we’ll do everything we can to support businesses retain and recruit staff,’ said committee president Rob Prow.
‘We know that recruiting from outside of the Common Travel Area is particularly challenging at the moment as a result of Brexit changing the visa requirements for EU nationals entering the UK.
‘While this is a UK process that we have little control over, from a population management perspective the committee is determined to support both businesses that have staff already here that they want to keep, and individuals in the island on employment permits that want to stay longer than their existing permit would ordinarily allow. This is not always possible, depending on the length of time the person has been in the island, but our clear message is contact the population management office to explore available options before making any decisions about leaving the island.’
The committee has already made exemptions to allow people to stay longer.
‘We have had examples where either individuals approaching the end of their employment permit, or employers with staff in that situation, have contacted us and we have been able to provide them with options to remain based on current policies in place,’ said Mark Nichols, deputy administrator of population management.
‘We also know, however, that some individuals and employers assume that the end of an employment permit is the end with no prospect of an extension.
‘While this can certainly be the case, depending on the overall length of time the person has been here, it is also the case that solutions may exist to help businesses keep good workers here.
‘We are here to help and want to support people who want to stay, and businesses who want to keep good and important staff, wherever we can so we’d encourage people to contact us to discuss in the first instance.’
n Any individual or business pursuing an extension to an employment permit should contact firstname.lastname@example.org, detailing their circumstances.