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Anti-Discrimination

Background

The Trust believes that Jersey is the kind of place where equality matters and that the contribution made by all islanders irrespective of their race, sex, disability, age or sexual orientation should be recognised.

It also believes that individuals should have the right to live their lives free of prejudice and discrimination in work, leisure, housing and education.

The passing of anti-discrimination legislation is fundamental to this right. Without such a law the unacceptable levels of discrimination will continue in Jersey. Anti discrimination laws have been in place for decades in other jurisdictions as anti–discrimination legislation is an important feature of a just and fair society.

To date Jersey has no anti discrimination legislation in place.


Anti Discrimination Legislation in Jersey

The States of Jersey have been working on an anti–discrimination law since 1999, but sadly eleven years later, nothing has been passed.

The Trust has been extremely frustrated by the lack of priority given to this legislation by the Council of Ministers in the past.
The States website itself stated “Jersey has a recognised presence on the international stage. It follows that the Island should have the necessary legislation in place in order to command respect as a jurisdiction that promotes modern standards of respect for individuals’ rights and encourages equality and harmony between its citizens.”
 

In March 2011, the Home Affairs Minister admitted that the proposed Draft Law would not be lodged in time for debate, citing a number of difficulties. These included procedural issues, lack of departmental expertise and insufficient funding.

The Future

In August 2011 the Trust was informed that responsibility for the Draft law will now be passed to the Social Security Department and will be worked on during 2012. The Trust is extremely pleased that a step has been taken to progress the drafting of this law.      

 

Employer's Survey on Proposed Discrimination Law

During April and May 2011 the JCRT in conjunction with the Jersey Employers Network on Disability surveyed local employers to gauge their views on the proposed introduction of discrimination law in Jersey. The aim of this survey was to gather statistical data on how employers locally would like to see such legislation being introduced, if at all.


A total of 60 organisations from various sectors responded to the survey with sizeable businesses of 100 employees or more representing the majority of responses received.


Responses showed that the majority of local organisations surveyed are of the opinion that there is a need for discrimination legislation and support its introduction. As regards a need for its introduction 82% said yes, 1% doesn’t know and only 17% replied no.


It emerged that employers consider the attributes of age, nationality, gender and race to be the most important issues to be covered by legislation and just over half (52%) favoured the idea of attributes being brought into force in stages rather than simultaneously (41%). However if phased-in, the combined results of over half of respondent organisations indicated their preferred order of introduction was gender followed by disability and then race.

In addition, companies were asked whether Jersey should have an interim code of practice prior to the law coming into force, allowing organisations time to prepare. Out of 58 companies who answered, the majority of respondents agreed (72% n=42).
 

A full copy of the report is attached please click on the attached link full report


The Future?

Both JEND and the JCRT were extremely pleased with the results to the survey as it confirmed earlier beliefs that employers were in favour of such legislation. Both organisations will now be working on progressing the law and introducing where possible information for employers on how to eliminate discrimination within their workplace. 

Any organizations, including in particular smaller businesses, who need help to develop anti-discrimination policies, may contact the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service ("JACS")  JACS has agreed to assist businesses to draw up their own anti-discrimination guidelines, tackle bullying in the workplace and/or provide strategies for dealing with race-related issues.


Contact Us
Tel: 07797 817950
info@jerseycommunityrelations.org

Jersey Community Relations Trust
PO Box 50
St. Helier
JE4 8PA

JCRT Believes in the elimination of discrimination and equality for all