28 August 2014
A Social Security scheme helped more than 1,800 people find jobs last year, according to the department’s annual report, just published.
The 2013 annual report provides a summary of the department’s work providing benefits and services during the year.
Tackling unemployment was the Island’s biggest priority during 2013 and Social Security’s dedicated Back to Work team launched a number of initiatives to reduce Jersey’s record levels of unemployment.
People getting jobs
Among these were a new hospitality training programme which led to 268 unemployed people getting jobs, and a new initiative called JobsFest which saw the creation of 109 jobs for people looking for work.
Work to ensure that the benefits system can provide for a growing proportion of older residents continued in 2013. The department introduced a new way of ensuring pensions keep pace with inflation without threatening the sustainability of pensions in the long term.
The department also made significant progress towards the introduction of the new long term care benefit scheme, which came into force in July 2014.
A new law to provide protection against discrimination was approved in 2013, and race discrimination legislation will be in force from September.
Responding to record unemployment
Social Security Minister, Senator Francis Le Gresley said “The annual report explains the work of each section of the department and gives people a real insight into what the it does and its reach into the community.
"The department has made significant progress during 2013, against a backdrop of short-term and long-term challenges, including responding to record unemployment and preparing for an ageing population.
“The teams at the department are working hard to address immediate issues, plan for the future and provide a high standard of customer service.”
Health Insurance Fund
Minister also released a report on the Island’s Health Insurance Fund. This fund, which Islanders contribute to, helps pay for GP visits and prescriptions, and other benefits.
The review by the UK Government Actuary states that in the short term, the fund remains healthy, holding assets of well over £80 million, but the expected growth in primary care health costs over the next two decades means action will need to be taken to maintain the fund in the longer term.
Senator Le Gresley said “The review of the Health Insurance Fund helps the department plan for the future of benefits to support primary health costs. It will also feed into the wider review of health funding that is currently taking place.
"The pressures on the fund will grow steadily over the next 20 years. However, the reserves that we have built up give us time to plan for these additional costs and to adjust the scheme as needed as primary care health costs continue to increase."
Download Social Security Minister’s Report and Financial Statements 2013 (size 4.87mb)
Government Actuary report on the financial condition of the Health Insurance Fund as at 31 December 2012