Wednesday update from Chamber.
We trust that you are holding up well and coping as April comes near to a close. It is probably not so much one to remember, but just one we won’t forget.
The heat between Government and Chamber Member, Jersey Gas has been turned up today, as reported by ITV this afternoon.
Jersey Gas who employ 46 staff in Jersey are excluded from the co-funding payroll scheme. Readers to this update will know that Chamber introduced the talks between Jersey Gas and Government over a month ago on the issue of payroll co-funding. It is regrettable that these talks don’t appear to have developed and whilst Jersey Gas want to talk about the short term issue of payroll co-funding to assist with funding staff, the Government want to talk about helping them in a different way, which appears to be in assisting with the company in long term.
Jersey Gas are temporarily putting up gas prices from the 1st May by 6.5% as they say the Jersey Government has not helped them and they need to pay staff. The Government of Jersey want financial information on their business and their parent company first, to help them. We have yet to establish if other Chamber Members have been asked for the same information before being eligible for funding. Chamber wishes to help and represent its members and also work with Government to help keep businesses going throughout this difficult time and is supportive of co-funding schemes to help keep employees in their job. We hope that sensible discussions will look at these issues and a resolution can be found. We know Jersey Gas are not the only fuel supplier asking to be included in co-funding for their employees.
Response to Jersey Gas announcement by Government
The talk of the day has been when the relaxing of restrictions will start and we’ve taken plenty of calls and emails on this, as some are quite naturally getting rather excited. It is difficult and, even working closely with Government officials working on this, we cannot say when this will be or how it will operate, because simply nobody knows yet and that is coming from an organisation who are in daily if not hourly contact, with those scoping the possibilities.
It would therefore be absolutely wrong to speculate and build expectations beyond what is reasonable, without clear facts. Our take, from the information we have is that on Friday we are likely to see the start of announcements on the work being undertaken, a ‘roadmap’ if you like for the way ahead, looking at the practicalities for any easing, rather than any widespread easing within the next two weeks. Obviously, Chamber are passing on in your helpful thoughts, comments and suggestions to Government, who are very receptive and will forward anything back as we learn more.
We get questions every day on why businesses cannot open and trade and for those enquiring the advice we have is that the Government policy hasn’t changed and that all non-essential retail should remain closed and that this advice remains current. The Government website wording is here: https://www.gov.je/Health/Coronavirus/BusinessAndEmployment/Pages/CoronavirusBusinessAdvice.aspx .
The new Portal for apply for Phase 2 co-funding will go live on Friday 1st of May. We will of course advise once we have more details.
Plenty of businesses are still working the Phase 2 scheme details – the details are online here:
And the Guidance notes are here:
A short video on the Payroll co-funding schemes of Jersey and Guernsey has been put together by valued Chamber members Ogier, who have been busy in front of camera to explain it. Our grateful thanks to them for letting us share it with the rest of Chamber: https://vimeo.com/413017339/d7e5aa76f3
Fire safety advice: Stay Home Stay Safe
While Islanders spend more time at home during the Stay Home measures, the Jersey Fire and Rescue Service warn that increased time spent indoors can increase the risk of fires.
Fresh fish and shellfish supplied by Gabby and Robert from valued Chamber Members Jade-S fisheries will make to appearances this week for sure… seek them out at:
Grouville by Long Beach car park - Friday 9-12/1230
And St Aubin by the Parish Hall Saturday 9-until stock lasts
Enjoy your evening all and I look forward to bringing you more details of the day and just who will be on our Friday Webchat Panel.
Stay safe, safe home and stay in touch.
JERSEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE