Open Letter to States Deputies from G5 re Anti Discrimination Proposals

Dear Deputies

On behalf of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA), the Confederation of Guernsey Industry (CGI) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) and ahead of the debate regarding the proposed approach to anti-discrimination legislation, we would like to draw your attention to a joint statement we made in June.

In addition to the points made in our previous statement and below, we would like to be clear that we hope the legislation will progress without any further delay. These are the key themes:

We have always been clear in our support for appropriate anti-discrimination legislation

We welcome the changes made by the Committee for Employment & Social Security (ESS) and the latest version of the policy letter

We have been keen advocates for the adoption of the Jersey system as we believe this could have been rapidly implemented. In addition, the legislation has been proven to work and is familiar to some businesses in Guernsey, especially those with a pan-island presence.

We believe that now is the time for action and, therefore, we support the Committee for Employment and Social Security’s proposal for anti-discrimination legislation

Throughout the review process, we have asked for an impact analysis from the States of Guernsey, to help better inform the understanding of the practical implications of the proposed legislation. We ask again for this vital analysis to help prepare local businesses for a successful implementation.

We are keen to work alongside government and other stakeholders throughout the legislative process to ensure a smooth and successful implementation.

We note that a phased implementation has worked particularly well in Jersey and strongly advocate that a similar approach be taken here. We, therefore, support the three-stage phased approach that the committee proposes and which is essential to enable businesses to prepare for this wide-ranging and significant legislation.

Extensive guidance will be particularly useful for businesses leaders, especially on the disability elements of the law. Additionally, a particular concern for our members is that the new regime will depend upon an adequately resourced occupational health infrastructure to support the implementation.

We believe that in order to effectively implement the legislation and develop the guidance, a working group with business representation should be established.

Additionally, to help business prepare for the legislation, and for good governance, we ask for the States of Guernsey to share their impact analysis. However, we believe that this should happen as a part of the usual process of drafting and implementation of the legislation and supporting guidance.

We believe both actions can be accommodated within the implementation timetable set out by ESS and should not, therefore, lead to any delay, nor should it stop the States of Guernsey passing the proposals at the July meeting.

In conclusion, we believe that Guernsey’s economic and social wellbeing depends on a thriving business community and we hope we can work together to bring about legislation that best serves the whole island.

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