The Committee for Employment & Social Security announced on
Friday 8 November that it will be focusing its efforts on
delivering a reduced set of discrimination proposals. It is clear
from the announcement that the Committee's intention is to
stagger the implementation of the 10 proposed protected grounds,
rather than reduce their number.
Its immediate priority is to introduce protection on the grounds of disability including for carers of disabled people. Having received the most challenging and critical consultation feedback on its proposals for disability discrimination, the Committee has committed to revisiting the definition of disability. This will provide some comfort to employers, many of whom have been concerned with the breadth of the proposed definition and the fact that it would be so different from the approach taken in Jersey and the UK.
If sufficient progress is made with disability, the additional grounds of protection that the Committee will advance are race, religious belief and sexual orientation. This is because the consultation responses have indicated only minor modifications to the proposals will be needed for these to be put forward.
The Committee will be suspending work on the other grounds on which it consulted: age, carer status (in relation to parents), marital status, pregnancy or maternity status, sex, and trans status. However, we can expect to see an indicative timeline for when these grounds should be addressed and included in the legislation, in the Committee's Policy Letter.
Employers should continue to prepare for the introduction of the proposed legislation by reviewing their existing policies and procedures; ensuring that they are dealing with any bad practices within their organisations promptly; and continuing to raise awareness and encourage best practices via workplace training.
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