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Assistant Chief Minister Questioned on Migration Controls

Mar 01, 2022

The Migration and Population Review Panel held a public hearing with Assistant Chief Minister, Deputy Rowland Huelin, on the proposed amendments to the Control of Housing and Work Law, which will be debated by the States Assembly in April 2022. During the hearing, the Panel heard:

  • The fundamental purpose of the amendments is to control population levels by removing automatic graduation between statuses which allow people to build up entitlement to residency.
  • The primary legislation, which is a framework to enable flexibility within the secondary legislation, is to be debated in April and, if approved, the secondary legislation will be brought forward for debate by the next Council of Ministers. The controls, however, won’t come into force until the Appointed Day Act, and that timing will depend on how much of a priority it is for the next Council of Ministers.
  • The law will introduce new levels for decision-making and appeals and seek to allow for more flexibility and transparency in the decision-making process.
  • The Assistant Minister expressed his view that it is “unacceptable” that people who come to Jersey to work for nine months are required to wait six months until they can receive health insurance, as is currently the case.
  • There will be a transition period so that people will not lose status that they have achieved under the current law.
  • The introduction of civil penalties allows for lesser penalties to be brought forward before more severe ones are implemented.

Vice-Chair of the Migration and Population Review Panel, Deputy Steve Ahier said “We thank the Assistant Chief Minister and Officers for answering our questions about the amendments to the Control of Housing and Work Law. The Panel hopes that the hearing has assisted public understanding of the amendments and the timeline for change. We remain concerned about the timing of the amendments so close to the end of this Council of Minister’s term of office. While we broadly welcome the framework that this puts in place, there is a lack of any commitment that can be placed on future administrations to take the next important steps.”

Scrutiny Press Release.

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