Our employment team has urged local employers to have a clear
plan in place to manage the new statutory parental leave
legislation which will take effect in eight weeks' time.
The first of the series of employment seminars outlined the
details of the introduction of statutory maternity leave, maternity
support leave and adoption leave that will apply in Guernsey, Herm
and Jethou from the 1 April 2016 and which will affect
employees due to give birth or adopt a child after 7 August.
Addressing an audience of employers and human resources
practitioners, partner, Elaine Gray, and senior associate, Rachel
Richardson, examined the new legislation and the implications for
local employers starting with the introduction of a basic
requirement of 12 weeks' leave, up to a maximum of 26 weeks for
those who have been in continuous employment for 15 months or more.
Ms Gray and Ms Richardson considered the key themes of the new
legislation, highlighting important dates which both the employer
and employee need to be aware of in order to comply with the new
law, as well as the new provisions for support leave for partners
or those in a carer role.
The seminar also addressed the implications on expecting mothers
of redundancy during maternity leave, rights surrounding ante-natal
care and medical appointments, contractual issues and entitlements
on their return to work.
Advocate Gray said: "This is a big step forward for
Guernsey but the new regime will have far-reaching implications for
all local employers who only have a small window to ensure that
they are compliant.
"There are still grey areas within the law that need to be
addressed and the bigger issue surrounding what parental benefits
should be received during the time of leave is yet to be dealt
with. Our focus, for now, is to ensure that employers urgently
review their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the
"What is crucial for both employer and employee is to keep
on top of the key dates and understand their new obligations of
what is required of them when returning to work."
The seminar was the first of five that will take place
throughout the year on employment issues facing the island. The
remaining seminars will be:
Disabling discrimination: an update on Guernsey's proposals
– taking place on Tuesday 22 March
Data protection in the digital workplace – taking place
on Tuesday 7 June
The changing face of employment contracts – taking place
on Wednesday 28 September
Happy Faces: ensuring employee well-being – taking place
on Wednesday 23 November
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