What will it be like to work in Guernsey in 2020?

2019 vs 2020

As 2019 winds down, many of us are starting to think about what 2020 could bring. We now know the outcome of the UK General Election which has seemingly put an end to the Brexit uncertainty with the new PM stating "We will get Brexit done on time by 31 January - no ifs, no buts, not maybe". Closer to home there are other significant changes that will have more of a local impact.

Home Affairs recently announced their intentions to amend the Immigration Work Permit Policy, which could have a big impact in 2020. The changes are intended to make it easier for the hospitality and retail sectors to employ staff from outside the EU. Restaurants and hotels have been facing an increasingly difficult struggle to find and retain employees and hopefully the intended changes will have a positive effect on hospitality recruitment. Locally there are only a handful of candidates looking to work in hospitality, which is why so many establishments look overseas.

2019 also saw Employment & Social Security start a consultation process surrounding discrimination legislation, intended to outlaw discrimination in employment and other areas. The final proposals are scheduled for debate by April 2020 and should these be approved by the States, the legislation is anticipated to come into force from 2021. 

What does this mean? The proposed diversity legislation allows people who have been discriminated against, or feel that they have been discriminated against, to seek advice and assistance in a safe and informal way. If the issue cannot be resolved informally there will then be a means for formal adjudication. This is something businesses will need to get to grips with next year and it is worth noting that this proposal is happening in an election year, so it could certainly turn into an election issue.

This year saw the merger and buyout of several firms in the island which have naturally made the pool of employer choices smaller, however this is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s meant movement for some, but for others new in-house opportunities have grown and we expect to see this trend continue. We have also seen a number of new companies and startups, bringing with them new roles in new industries. We enjoy nurturing relationships with established businesses in Guernsey but working closely with new names in the market is a heartening experience.

What are employees in Guernsey looking for in 2020?

We recently conducted a survey to assess what locals thought the future of the Guernsey workforce looked like (you can see our infographic summary below) and discovered that almost 50% are considering finding a new job next year.

As recruitment specialists we were intrigued to find out what was considered the most persuasive factor when job hunting. Unsurprisingly, 67% of respondents said they would move jobs for better pay, but half claimed increased flexibility was the most important factor and 37% said better benefits would attract them to jobs elsewhere.

It was interesting to see that increased flexibility and achieving a better work/life balance was a prominent driving factor for people looking for a change in role.

There is a highly skilled workforce locally that, for various reasons, requires part time or flexible working hours and we’re seeing more employers recognise the benefits of offering more flexible working opportunities to accommodate this.

Flexible working is something we believe more companies will have to embrace to attract the best talent and in order to utilise a skill set and experience that you might not get from a lesser experienced full-time candidate.  

Closely linked to flexible working is working from home, which is also something that appears to be on the rise and with modern technology is increasingly easy to accomplish. We are certainly seeing businesses who are more open to suggestions around flexible working – everything from flexi-hours, sabbaticals and even a four-day work week – if it fits with their specific requirements and current workforce. We see this being a trend to watch.

So what else can we expect from 2020?

Our top 5 predictions for the Guernsey workforce in 2020 are:

  • We anticipate seeing a similar level of investment in recruitment and HR to 2019.
  • We hope to see the hospitality and retail industry thriving as a result of policy amendments.
  • We foresee that more employers will offer flexible working and benefits linked to achieving a better work/life balance.
  • We expect a rise in demand from employers for employees with ‘soft skills’ such as critical thinking and emotional intelligence.
  • We predict that employers will need to think about how to make the traditional work environment more attractive. With a rise in remote working opportunities, “the office” will need a new lease of life to tempt employees to spend time there!

Future Of Guernsey Workforce 2019