The economic climate in 2011 certainly kept Collas
Crill's employment department busy; many reputable employers
were forced to make redundancies as a cost-cutting
It is extremely important that Jersey employers are aware of the
increasing developments in the islands employment legislation. With
the number of employment tribunals on the increase it is essential
that employers are fully prepared and not taken by surprise.
More people are looking to the employment tribunal to resolve
disputes arising from their employment. 194 applications were
received by the Jersey Employment Tribunal between 1 July 2010 and
30 June 2011, an increase of 15% on figures from the previous
The increase can partly be attributed to the ongoing difficult
economic climate placing pressure on employers to reduce costs and
on employees to retain their jobs. Another reason may be the
evolution of the tribunal and the law it applies, which is being
developed briskly in Jersey. The tribunal's powers in rela tion
to unfair dismissal awards have also been amended so it has the
power to reduce the compensation potentially payable to an employee
if that employee has contributed in some way to his or her
Last year Collas Crill acted for an employer who defended a
claim brought against it for unfair dismissal; although the
employee was ultimately successful in her claim, the tribunal took
the unprecedented step of reducing her award of compensation by 65%
due to her own conduct. The tribunal's approach provided
reassurance that an applicant who seeks a hearing to recover
amounts which are either over and above what is agreed, or outside
the tribunal's jurisdiction, does not necessarily do so risk
And over the water, in one of the most high profile cases ever
seen before the Guernsey Employment Tribunal, Collas Crill acted
for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
in successfully defending four claims of unfair dismissal brought
by employees it had made redundant during the closure of its
Only one claimant succeeded in his claim and that was due to a
slight procedural technicality. This case highlighted the
importance to employers in both islands of the need to get any
redundancy procedure right. Following on from its success Collas
Crill has advised many employers on the proper procedure to be
followed when making staff redundant; all employers want to avoid
facing a future claim brought by a disgruntled employee which could
cost the business financially if they get it wrong.
Last year much was made of Jersey and Guernsey's Chief
Ministers' suggestion that the islands governments should work
more closely together. Our experience is that the private sector
has already embraced the need to work together and project a
pan-Channel Island image to national and global markets - while at
the same time maintaining a competitive individual edge. A number
of professions have recognised the strength of building
partnerships between Jersey and Guernsey firms and presenting a
joined solution while remaining independent jurisdictions and
Collas Crill itself now offers a pan-island employment service
to its Jersey and Guernsey clients following the Collas Day / Crill
Canavan merger in April last year. Although the economic climate in
2012 is set to pose further challenges, our aim is to continue to
ensure that our experience and reputation mean island employers get
the advice they need for their businesses to remain sustainable and
To help local employers ensure all the relevant issues are on
their radar, we have established a free monthly subscription-based
employment law newsletter. Last year we ran a successful seminar
series on topical employment related issues, which attracted an
audience of senior management and HR personnel, and we look forward
to running another series this spring, based on hot topics and
important case studies.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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On 1 January 2017 the Financial Services Rule Book 2016 comes into operation. With this will be the requirement on all Isle of Man licence holders to establish, implement and maintain an effective whistleblowing policy.
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...
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