Following hot on the heels of this month's increase to Guernsey's minimum wage rates, Jersey is following suit, although employers will be given a little more time to prepare for the rise.

Jersey's Social Security Minister has accepted the Employment Forum's recommendation and confirmed that with effect from 1 April 2015 the following rates will apply:

For those Island employers who provide accommodation and/or food as part of an overall remuneration package, be warned, the "offset" rates are also increasing with effect from next April.

Jersey's public sector acknowledges that the Island is a more expensive place to live in terms of rent, utilities and food, etc, as opposed to those living in other local jurisdictions. While it appreciates that the increase may have a greater impact on smaller businesses, there has to be a balance and the States' focus is very much on encouraging people to be in employment. It is hoped that with minimum wage rates set to rise and income support benefit remaining consistent, those currently unemployed will be more motivated to work and add value to an already expensive Island community.

It remains to be seen whether the increase will improve the Island's economy and generate higher full-time employment levels. The Forum proposes to update us all on its success later in 2015, so in the interim we can only speculate on how successful the changes will be. In the meantime, if you are concerned about the wage increases and how this will affect your business, then please do not hesitate to talk to a member of the employment team.

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