The States of Guernsey have approved the introduction of new
family friendly rights, including time off for antenatal care,
maternity / adoption leave, support leave for partners and keeping
in touch days.
Although the new rights will be in force from 1 April 2016, they
will only apply to mothers whose due date, or adoption placement
date, is on or after 7 August 2016. A summary of all the new rights
is set out in our infographic.
For those employers who operate across both Guernsey and Jersey,
this will mean they are having to review their maternity policies
again, following the introduction of similar rights in Jersey last
Whilst the rights offered in both jurisdictions are broadly
similar, there are differences such as the fact that Guernsey has
been more generous with providing for a maximum period of leave of
26 weeks rather than just the 16 weeks in Jersey. Probably the
biggest anomaly in the two sets of legislation at present is around
paternity leave, or 'support leave'. Whilst both offer two
weeks leave which may be taken by the father or partner of the
mother, where Guernsey differs is that the mother has the right to
nominate someone else to take the leave in place of the father.
Whilst there are solid social policy reasons for giving this
greater flexibility, it does create questions for employers such as
whether they should offer a similar right in Jersey even though
there is no right to do so.
In addition it should also be remembered that consideration is
still being given as to how to introduce shared parental leave
within Guernsey, with the States set to report back with its
proposals by 31 December 2016. Whilst there is no date yet set when
this right would be introduced, it will not be too far away and
will no doubt create further challenges for employers.
Please refer to our
infographic which details all the new rights on one page.
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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