On 4th September 2019, the Economic Statistics (Guernsey and Alderney) Law was approved by the States of Guernsey (after earlier proposals relating to "Standardising the Measurement of Guernsey's Gross Domestic Product" had resulted in agreement to draft the legislation, see States Meeting on 27th October, 2015). The legislation has been put in place to enable efficient collection of data that is needed to provide important statistics, such as median wages of full time employees (which can be analysed by age and sex etc), numbers of people paid the minimum wage and numbers of households with adults all working full time that are still below the relative income poverty threshold. It will also enable the refinement and improvement of the accuracy of some existing statistics, such as GVA and GDP and introduction of measures of productivity.
Data is being collect via three mechanisms:
1. Controlled sharing of some of the data that is collected for Income Tax purposes, to minimise the amount of additional information that needs to be requested
2. The Annual Economic Activity Return since 2022 (which a stratified sample of employers are required to complete each year)
3. Quarterly employer returns from 2024 onwards (a joint return system, which enables employers to submit information relating to Employee Tax Instalments, Social Insurance Contributions, Secondary Pension Contributions and Economic Activity via the same mechanism)
The information that is being sought (under the Economic Statistics Law) via the quarterly employer returns from 2024 onwards relates to the compensation of employees, as follows:
- Separation of information on wages paid to current employees from pensions paid to past employees (which currently are not disinguishable from each other)
- Numbers of hours for which employees were paid or contracted to work
- Occupation of employees (aligned to the Standard Occupational Classification)
- Value of employer contributions to occupational / secondary pension schemes (also needed for Secondary Pensions compliance monitoring)
Expand for more information on why employers need to provide additional information
- The statistics provided at present (see https://gov.gg/population and https://gov.gg/gdp) are calculated using data that is collected primarily for the purpose of administering Income Tax and Social Insurance, which limits the statistics that can be provided. However, with the addition of a few extra pieces of data, the range and accuracy of the statistics (including GVA, GDP, earnings and productivity) will be able to be improved, which in turn enable better monitoring of the Island's human capital, economy and pay equality.
- Further background information on these changes can be found here https://gov.gg/article/150854/States-Meeting-on-27th-October-2015-Billets-XIX-Budget-and-XVIII
Expand for more information on how GVA and GDP are used by the States of Guernsey and others
- GVA is one of the main measures used to determine the size of and value generated by each sector of Guernsey's economy in any particular year. GVA per worker is the closest thing to a productivity measure that Guernsey has at present.
- GDP and GDP per capita growth rates provide an indication of the level of activity in an economy and whether the economy is growing or receding.
- Governments rely on GDP when deciding how much public spending is affordable, for example how much money should be invested in infrastructure or donated to overseas aid.
- GDP per capita figures and growth rates are also used to make comparisons with other jurisdictions, determine sovereign credit ratings and in the promotion of the Island. Policy makers rely on GDP figures and forecasts when making decisions on tax and trade policies. In the private sector, employers may use GDP figures and forecasts to make assumptions about economic growth and decisions on whether to expand or hire more people.
Expand for more information on legal obligations and how data is protected by the States of Guernsey
- The Economic Statistics (Guernsey and Alderney) Law 2019 enables the States of Guernsey to require certain information to be provided. All information provided is treated (in accordance with the Economic Statistics (Guernsey and Alderney) Law 2019) as strictly confidential and will be used solely by the Economic Statistics Supervisor and their officers in the Data and Analysis Service to compile aggregate statistics, such as GVA and GDP. The States of Guernsey will process any personal data provided within the Return in accordance with the Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2017. Further information about how your personal data is processed by the States of Guernsey can be found here and in the Data & Analysis Fair Processing Notice, which can be downloaded from here.
- Failure to complete the return may lead to financial penalties and fines being imposed. If a return is not submitted by the deadline by a selected employer, an initial penalty may be imposed (which must not exceed £1,000), followed by further daily penalties (maximum £50 per day) until the return is received. Penalties can also be applied for incomplete or incorrectly submitted returns. However, the Data and Analysis team will make contact as the deadline is nearing and help resolve any issues that may prevent a Return from being submitted on time.
- If you provide knowingly false or misleading information, persons found guilty would be liable on summary conviction for imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to a fine not exceeding level twice 5 on the uniform scale. However, estimated figures are acceptable if exact figures cannot be provided and the Data and Analysis team will provide support as needed to make the return process as quick and easy as possible.