Guernsey has its own legal framework with regard to employing staff. Before the appointment process is started it will be useful to spend some time in this section of the website to get acquainted with the aspects employers might need to consider and the States of Guernsey personnel who may be able to assist with any questions.

Guernsey’s Housing Market

There are no controls over who can own a property on the Island. However, there are controls on who can occupy the property – the housing market is split into two sectors:

  • Local Market – where there are controls on who can live in the accommodation and for how long;
  • Open Market – whilst there are some controls for Open Market accommodation, all Open Market Part A properties can be owned and lived in by anyone for any length of time.

More details about additional controls can be found on the Housing service website. This will be of particular importance to consider if you are looking to, at some point, employ staff in Guernsey.

All Open Market housing is listed on a register, and the Housing Register can be searched on-line from this link.

Any housing not listed in the Housing Register is Local Market.

The Right to Work Law

The law requires everyone who is working to obtain a document from the Housing Department to show that they are lawfully housed.

There are a number of ways in which people living in Guernsey can be housed lawfully. The Open Market provides the quickest route into the island. Otherwise our Population Management regime can be utilised by those looking to access our Local Market.

Staffing Your Business - Locate Guernsey

Relocating your business with existing staff to Guernsey

If you need to bring over certain key essential staff with your business then the Population Management Service can grant Employment Related Housing Permits, (also known as Right to Work documents) as these enable employers to recruit staff who are not resident in Guernsey. Population Management, when granting these permits, will always have regard to whether the skills you need are already available on the Island.

There are different types of employment-related permits:

  • Short term – these are granted for periods of up to 1 year but can be reassessed and continued for a maximum of 5 years.
  • Medium term – these are granted for a period of 5 years. Both Short and Medium term permits require holders to take a ‘recognised break in residency’ for the amount of time they lived in Guernsey.
  • Long term – these are issued for up to 8 years whereupon they are reassessed and the holder will likely be granted 7 further years (15 total).
  • More information can be found here

Depending on the nature of the role that requires an employment related licence, there will be some restrictions on the type and size of accommodation that these licence holders can occupy, based on the size of the property.

Is moving staff to Guernsey complicated?

The short answer to that question is no!

Guernsey is open for business and staff of the Housing Department are keen to help smooth the transition of an existing business into the Island. You can contact Population Management with queries here. Alternatively Locate Guernsey can provide a single point of contact to speak to Government on your behalf.

Work Permits, non EEA Residents

In general terms, if businesses intend to employ nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area, then a work permit will be required for those people.

This area is separate to the matter of Right to Work licences administered by Guernsey’s Housing Service.

Work Permits in Guernsey are issued by the Guernsey Border Agency. More information can be found by clicking here.

Employee Tax and Social Security

Tax

It is the employer’s responsibility to deduct tax from employees and pay this to the Income Tax Office. This is done through the ETI (Employees Tax Instalment) Scheme, equivalent to ‘Pay as you earn’ in other jurisdictions. Throughout each quarter, tax should be deducted from employees in accordance with the individual’s coding notice, on each payday.

New employers should contact the ETI Department at the Income Tax Office and they will provide the necessary documents, which will explain how to calculate and deduct tax when paying wages.

For more information about the ETI scheme contact Employer’s ETI Enquiries or click here.

Social Security

Social Security contributions are required from both employer and employee in respect of any employed person who is over school-leaving age and under age 65.

Free software is available to help employers to manage their Social Security & Income Tax payments, called “Returns Creator”. This software can be accessed by clicking here after gaining an employer code or tax reference.

For more information contact Social Security Employer’s Enquires click here.
More information on Tax & Social Security can be accessed by clicking here.

Staffing Your Business - Locate Guernsey

Employment Relations

The Employment Relations Service is available to both employers and employees, providing practical guidance on employment rights and responsibilities, employment legislation and information on employment related and workplace issues.

For details on how to contact the Employment Relations Service click here.

Information and guides on managing employment can also be accessed via the Employment Relations Service website.

Employment Contract

There is certain information which must be included in the written statement of the terms and conditions of employment and further information together with an example of a written statement can be accessed via the link above.

Minimum Wage

Under Guernsey law all qualifying workers have a right to be paid not less than the minimum wage. A comprehensive guide on minimum wage and the current rates can be accessed here.

The Job Centre

The Job Centre works closely with local employers to assist with their recruitment needs. It offers a free job vacancy service and assistance can also be provided with setting up interviews for multiple candidates. Vacancies are displayed on its website and also on the job vacancy boards at Edward T Wheadon House.

In addition, recruitment grants are available to employers through the Job Centre to assist with the cost of training or up-skilling individuals who have been unemployed or long term sick for more than six months.

A job matching service is available which can help employers by identifying a shortlist of potential candidates, using their vacancy criteria.