It is unlawful to discriminate in the employment field in
Guernsey on the grounds of sex or marital status.
Discrimination can occur in two forms:
Direct discrimination: this is less favourable treatment based
on gender or marital status, e.g. 'We do not employ women'
or 'Married persons cannot apply for promotion'. Treating a
woman less favourably because of her pregnancy is automatic
discrimination because pregnancy is a gender-specific
Indirect discrimination: this occurs when an employer applies
what appears to be a gender-neutral provision, criterion or
practice (PCP), but that PCP adversely affects a considerably
larger proportion of one sex than the other and cannot be
justified. So, for example, providing benefits such as healthcare
or pension only to full time workers would be discriminatory on the
basis that statistically more women than men work part time.
Accordingly, women as a group are proportionately disadvantaged by
Guernsey law also protects against victimisation by making it
unlawful to treat less favourably than other persons someone who
has brought or supported a sex discrimination complaint.
Discrimination can arise at any stage in the employment
relationship and covers discrimination in:
Terms of the employment offer
Access to promotion, transfer, training and other benefits
Dismissal or any other detriment (including sexual
There is an exception which permits an employer to confine a job
to persons of one sex if being a member of that sex is a genuine
occupational qualification. This covers, for example, the
requirement for a male actor to play a particular part, or where
considerations of decency or privacy dictate the employee's
gender, such as working in a residential home or as a private
There is no qualifying period necessary in order to bring a
complaint of sex discrimination and no age limit. Any complaint of
sex discrimination will be heard by Guernsey's Employment and
Discrimination Tribunal. Where a sex discrimination complaint is
upheld, the award is three months' pay.
Guernsey's Commerce and Employment Department may also act
in cases of alleged discriminatory practices by investigating a
complaint and issuing Non-Discrimination Notices where
discrimination is found to exist. The penalty for failure to act in
accordance with a Non-Discrimination Notice is a fine not exceeding
The Ministry of Human Resources has recently issued a string of new ministerial resolutions and decrees designed to address gaps in the employment regulatory framework and reinforce existing legislation...
Restraints of trade in the employment contract are quite often not given the attention they deserve until the time comes when the employer is under threat by a former employee and enforcement action is required to protect the business.
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