Jersey's regulations relating to age discrimination (the Discrimination (Age) (Jersey) Regulations 2016) come into force today - 1 September 2016.
A copy of the Regulations can be accessed here.
Carey Olsen's summary of the provisions of the Regulations and what they mean for employers can be accessed here.
Much has been written about age discrimination and the supposed burden which the new legislation imposes on employers. One good news story which has been reported in recent weeks concerns a study by the Lancaster University Management School of more than 400 McDonald's restaurants. The study reported significant benefits from employing employees over 60. The research (summarised helpfully here by the Employer's Forum on Age) reported a number of benefits from employing older workers, including:
- Over two thirds of respondents (69%) said later life workers empathise with and connect well with customers
- Almost half (47%) cited later life workers' ability to go the extra mile to deliver the best possible customer service
- 44% believed later life workers brought mentoring skills to the workplace, helping younger colleagues develop and mature
Changing demographics will mean that most if not all employers in Jersey will in see a shift in the age profile of their workforces over the next 10 years. As the Lancaster University/McDonalds research demonstrates, there is often a strong business case for embracing age diversity – a case which may not always be immediately apparent to employers.
Outlawing discrimination is of course laudable and provides vital protection to often vulnerable employees. However, the real gains for employers lie in embracing diversity and making it work for everyone - the priority should not be to shut anyone out of the workforce but rather to encourage employers to find skilled workers wherever they may be, irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability - or age.
Amendment to the Maximum Weekly Wage for Redundancy Payments
Under Article 60C of the Employment (Jersey) Law 2003, the maximum weekly wage figure for redundancy calculation purposes tracks the mean average weekly earnings published by the Statistics Unit of the States of Jersey. The latest data (available here) shows that the mean average weekly earnings of full-time equivalent employees at £700 per week. The data was published on 26 August 2016 and applies for calculation purposes a month later – whilst the language in the law about the timeframe is less than clear, we would recommend that the new figures should be used for effective dates of termination falling on or after 25 September 2016.
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