Women and minority groups more likely to have second jobs

Farmers planting Jersey Royal Potatoes in the fields of L'Etacq at Labey Farms. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37754250)

WOMEN, minority groups and hospitality workers are the most likely Island residents to have multiple jobs, new data has revealed.

A report by Statistics Jersey recently showed that 8.6% of women had a second job, compared to 6.9% of men.

The Employment Statistics report also revealed that Latvian, Spanish, Bulgarian and Kenyan workers were more than twice as likely to have a second job than the average across all nationalities in the Island.

According to the report, the percentage of people who have second jobs per sector is as follows:

  • 12% of hospitality workers.

  • 11% of education, health, and service professionals.

  • 11% of business professionals.

  • 7% of retail workers.

  • 7% of civil servants.

  • 4% of finance and legal professionals.

Kate Wright, an HR consultant and chair of diversity campaign group The Diversity Network, said the reason why so many women – especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds – were working two jobs compared to other demographics was because they tended to be the ones working in the lowest-paid roles.

“As well as meeting the high costs of living in Jersey, many of these workers from overseas are under pressure to send money back home to support their children and families.

“This means they are effectively having to support two sets of living costs, one in Jersey and one in their home country,” she said.

“Some of these workers will be here on short-term visas. Others may be here in the longer term, but because they may have less than five years’ residency they will have fewer rights than other employees.

“They may also be unclear as to where they can access advice and medical care, which means, for example, that they may not be accessing a GP if they are unwell.”

Kate Wright. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (37754247)

A 2023 review of the welfare and rights of employees arriving in the Island with work permits found that they were often unaware of how the healthcare system operated in Jersey before their arrival because the information was not readily available.

To tackle this problem, Ms Wright said that employers should be compassionate and supportive towards workers who were struggling financially, while also recognising the difficulties faced by employees who held multiple jobs.

She said: “In terms of employers supporting people with two, and sometimes three jobs, it’s really important that they are firstly aware that this is even the case for some of their employees and, therefore, the extra stresses and pressures these workers might be experiencing.”

For overseas workers, Ms Wright underscored the need for clarity on immigration policies and guidance on living, working, and accessing support in Jersey.

She said: “Before an employer even recruits a worker from overseas, they need to make sure that both they and the worker fully understand the implications of Jersey’s immigration policies and laws.

“They also need to ensure that the overseas employee understands how things like the healthcare system work in Jersey.”

To support lower-income workers, Ms Wright suggested that employers should make an effort to recognise and resolve their financial worries.

She said they should provide guidance to overseas staff, take proactive steps to address pay disparities while maintaining equitable pay practices and to invest in employee training and development.

The Diversity Network has urged employers to engage in their ‘6 Point Plan’, a programme aimed at helping employees manage finances and alleviate money-related stress.

This initiative, particularly beneficial for workers with multiple jobs and women facing a 12% gender pay gap, provides practical support for those struggling financially.

She also encouraged employers to be able to identify signs of financial struggle among their employees and provide appropriate guidance, including referrals to local charities such as Community Savings and Citizens Advice.

Ms Wright also appealed to employers to uphold fair pay practices, including paying the Living Wage, and to address the gender and ethnicity pay gaps.

She said: “I would also urge employers to consider how they can support lower-paid workers to progress in their careers and to develop the skills that will enable them to move into better-paid jobs so that the pressure to have more than one job is reduced.

“Providing learning and development opportunities for all employees is an investment in growth and sustainability; it is in the organisation’s interests as well as their employees.”

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