The Minister for Social Security of the States of Jersey has
accepted the recommendation of the Employment Forum in the report
it produced and presented on 14 June 2013, following a consultation
period earlier in the year, and so the status quo will remain.
The link to the recommendation, which is preceded by an
Introductory Report by the Minister is attached for you to read at
your leisure, and it makes some interesting points.
The recommendation appears at Section 4.
If employers do not think that the Forum's report adequately
reflects their views, opinions and/or concerns on the issue, then
they have no one but themselves to blame for not expressing these
during the consultation period.
One point that I noticed when reading the recommendation is that
only 10 responses were received from employers, and 3 responses
from employer associations. This seems a very low level of response
to what is an issue which affects organisations and businesses of
all sizes in the island.
Whilst the duration of the period of consultation may have been
considered to be fairly short (it ran from 4 February 2013 until 15
March 2013), when the Employment Forum seeks feedback on a topic
that has been put out for consultation by the Minister, it is very
important that employers take the time to respond, even if only
briefly, to the Forum. Alternatively, they should inform the Jersey
Chamber of Commerce of their views in order that they can collate
the views of its members and feed these to the Forum.
For those organisations with a presence in other of the Channel
Isles as well as Jersey (this firm being one), you will know that
the qualifying period to bring a claim for unfair dismissal in
Guernsey is one year. As the working population is similar in many
ways, perhaps it would have made sense, as well as assisting those
who undertake the business planning and human resource functions
across the islands, if the qualifying period for unfair dismissal
was the same.
Currently, the following scenario continues to be the case
– two employees can start working for a pan-island employer
on the same day, both undertaking exactly the same role, one being
based in St Helier and the other in St Peter Port, but if things do
not work out for whatever reason, the employee in Jersey can bring
a claim for unfair dismissal after being employed for 26 weeks,
whilst the employee in Guernsey has to be employed for over a year
before he can submit a claim for the same.
What is the position regarding the "two-thirds rule",
which applies to those who are employed in Jersey under fixed term
contracts of 26 weeks or less?
The Forum's recommendation also confirms that the Law
regarding these will remain unchanged, namely, fixed-term contract
employees who are employed under contracts for 26 weeks or less
(eg. seasonal workers) are protected against unfair dismissal once
they have completed at least two-thirds of their fixed-term
contract by the effective date of termination, subject to the
employee having a minimum of 13 weeks' continuous service.
Please click here to read the full report of the Jersey
Employment Forum regarding the Unfair Dismissal qualifying period
(Recommendation and Minister's response).
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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