While Jersey was once recognised for its ship-building, textiles and agriculture, it’s now seen as one of the world’s top offshore finance centres.
The island’s booming finance and legal sector are now the primary source of income and employment, with Jersey home to some of the world’s leading financial institutions and law firms.
As the island grows in popularity, it has continued to diversify. It’s now home to a thriving creative and digital industry, with 400 businesses employing 2,700 professionals.
The digital sector saw 28% growth between 2010 and 2016, supported by Digital Jersey who helped develop their digital innovation hub.
Despite this pivot to the digital sector, Jersey’s traditions continue to support the island’s growth. Agriculture – specifically the export of Jersey milk, seafood and produce – is a major contributor to the economy.
Finally, tourism represents the final key sector for the island and in 2017, the island saw the highest number of tourists in 10 years – with 700,000 visitors spending over £250 million.
Working Regulations in Jersey
As mentioned in our previous article around housing, residents of Jersey fall into one of four categories related to employment:
Entitled: This status is for individuals that have lived in Jersey for 10 years. They can buy, sell or lease any property. They can work anywhere they like and don’t need permission to be employed.
Licensed: This status is for individuals that are recognised as ‘essential employees’. They can buy, sell or lease any property, apart from social rented housing, provided they keep their Licensed status. An employer needs special permissions to employ a Licensed individual.
Entitled for Work: This status is for individuals that have lived in Jersey for 5 continuous years before the status is issued or are married to someone that is Entitled, Licensed or Entitled for Work. People with this status can buy property jointly with an Entitled partner. They can lease ‘Registered’ property as their main place of residence. They can work anywhere and don’t need permission to be employed.
Registered: This status is reserved for people that don’t fall into the categories above. They can lease a ‘Registered’ property as their main place of residence. An employer requires permission to employ a Registered person.
Next: About Jersey
Under the Control of Housing and Work Law, anyone that arrives in Jersey to live and work needs a Registration Card to buy or rent property, reside on the island for over 3 months or work on the island.
If you want to obtain a Registration Card, you have to present yourself to the Social Security Office in St Helier with photo ID and a signed letter from the company that is employing you.
The Jersey Social Security scheme requires payments from everyone living on the island that is over 16 and working. These payments go towards health services and benefits including sickness pay, maternity benefits, home carers allowance, old age pension and incapacity allowance.
Contributions are paid by your employer based on your earnings. If you don’t pay, you may face prosecution. Depending on your own circumstances, you may qualify for Small Income Exception or Contribution Credits to help you pay your social security.
Class 1 contributions are paid through your wages by your employer.
Class 2 contributions are paid every quarter by you.
Employees pay 6% of their earnings and employers pay a contribution of 6.5%, which is paid directly to the Social Security Department.
If you’re self-employed you pay 12.5% of your gross income and the level of contribution can change significantly based on your circumstances.
Tax in Jersey
Since Jersey is a self-governing dependency, Jersey has its own tax system in place.
Income Tax in Jersey can vary on a case-by-case basis but is generally lower than that in the UK and many additional taxes such as Capital Gains and Inheritance Tax don’t apply.
Company Tax rates are:
0% – The standard corporate tax rate that applies to most companies
10% – The rate for companies in Banking, Insurance, Finance or Fiduciary services.
20% – The rate for utility companies and any property income.
If you move to Jersey, you have to register with the Jersey Income Tax Department and all residents have to file an annual tax return.