The Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 2012 is not revolutionary, but it will lead to more streamlined processes and greater benefits for businesses and individuals.  That was the view of a panel of experts who answered questions on the new law at a series of workshops organised by Mourant Ozannes, supported by the States of Jersey Population Office and attended by nearly 200 people.

The new law will come into force today and a number of HR professionals, business leaders, lawyers and estate agents attended the two Mourant Ozannes sessions to find out what changes are being introduced.  The panel included employment lawyers and property experts from Mourant Ozannes together with representatives of the Population Office, which will administer aspects of the new law.

The speakers gave an overview of the new legislation, following which the panel answered searching questions from the audiences on a number of topics, including the rights of people to live and work in the Island, and how the system will be administered and policed.

There was particular interest among delegates in the new system of registration cards that Islanders will need to obtain in order to commence work or buy or lease property. Those cards will contain information about an individual residential status.

Helen Ruelle, Head of the Employment Practice Area at Mourant Ozannes said: "Whilst the new law retains many of the underlying principles of the existing legislation, it does provide new benefits and increased flexibility for businesses in respect of the engagement of staff. We are delighted that so many people were able to attend our workshops in order to hear more about the changes. There is clearly significant demand for information about the new law and how it will operate in practice. By having representatives of the Population Office on the panel with us, we were able to give first-hand answers to a diverse range of questions about employers’ and businesses’ obligations under the law."

Gavin Renault, Property Practice Area Manager for Mourant Ozannes added: "The new law makes a number of important changes to residential status, the process for purchasing and leasing property and retention of housing rights. Those involved in property transactions in the Island will need to get to grips with the new terminology, the classification of property and their obligations under the law. We work closely with the Population Office in dealing with housing matters and it was great that we could work with its representatives in presenting the workshops."

More information about the Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 2012 is available on the website of the Population Office and by contacting the Employment and Property teams at Mourant Ozannes.