Covid-19 Coronavirus

Temporary Work Permit Relaxation

Monday, 6 April 2020

As part of the emergency measures brought in to support the economy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department for Enterprise has taken a number of measures to temporarily relax the work permit system: 

  • All  existing work permits automatically extended by 6 months;
  • All work permit  holders and workers  engaged in employment which is exempt from the requirement for a work permit (e.g. ICT, doctors, teachers)  may change their  job without requiring a work permit (though this doesn’t apply to people with certain unspent criminal convictions etc.); and
  • Employers’ usual duty to provide certain information about exempt employments is suspended. 

These measures apply to anyone who was or is in employment from 28 February until 16 April. Combined they have the effect of allowing anyone who was previously in employment on the Island from 28 February onwards to immediately take up any offer of employment and the employer does not have to notify the Department nor seek a work permit. 

Andrew Stewart, Head of Policy and Strategy, commented: 

‘We know that it is a very challenging environment for both employers and employees at the moment, with some businesses closing and others having to drastically increase their workforce. By making these changes we are aiming to remove bureaucracy from this process and enable employers and existing workers to cope more easily with this demanding situation. In particular, the Department wishes to help those who have lost their job or have been otherwise temporarily displaced, to undertake any other employment.’ 

The Order has been brought forward under the Emergency Powers Act. It is aligned to the removal of residency requirement for the claiming of certain benefits including the new Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance (MERA). 

More information can be found on the COVID-19 website

For more information on work permits, please contact the team at

Issued By

Back to top