Monday 04 September 2023
As part of the development of the Employment and Equal Opportunities Service (EEOS), a new website has recently been launched to provide guidance and advice on a wide range of employment and discrimination related matters.
The website, www.eeos.gg, provides both practical advice and technical guidance issued by the Committee for Employment & Social Security relating to the Prevention of Discrimination Ordinance for employees, employers, service users and service providers. The website also includes the resources, guidance and advice currently found on the Employment Relations Services (ERS) webpage (www.gov.gg/employmentrelations) relating to employment matters such as unfair dismissal, contracts of employment, sex discrimination and the minimum wage.
The EEOS will be replacing the ERS in recognition of its expanded function beyond the field of employment under the Prevention of Discrimination Ordinance, which will come into force on 1st October 2023. In addition to the functions already carried out by the ERS, the EEOS will offer free pre-complaint conciliation to try to help people to resolve employment and discrimination issues early, with the aim of reducing the number of formal complaints made. The new service will be an arm's length body, independent from the States of Guernsey and will be fully operational from 1st October 2023.
From 1st October 2023, it will be unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of disability, carer status, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation in employment, the provision of goods and services, and of accommodation, and in the membership of clubs and associations. Complaints of discrimination, harassment or victimisation cannot be made under this Ordinance before this time, and the act which a person wishes to complain about under this Ordinance must have occurred on, or after, 1st October 2023. The duties for schools and education providers will not come into force until 1st September 2025 at the earliest, unless they are acting as an employer or general service provider, in which case these duties will commence on 1st October this year.
Stephen Glencross, newly appointed Director of the Employment and Equal Opportunities Service said:
"The launch of the EEOS website is the first step in the transition of the ERS to the new service. The aim of the website is to become the 'go to' resource on matters relating to employment or discrimination for everyone, whether they are an employee, a customer of a local business, employer, or service provider. The team is working hard behind the scenes to get ready for the launch and are available to start taking initial enquiries in relation to matters covered by the Prevention of Discrimination Ordinance, although complaints can't be made under that Ordinance until October. This is an exciting opportunity for the EEOS team to make a real difference in our community and I am looking forward to the full launch of the service on 1st October."
Deputy Peter Roffey, President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security said:
"I am delighted with the progress that the ERS team has made in this transitional phase of their development into the new EEOS service. It's important to highlight from a legislative point of view, that complaints under the Prevention of Discrimination Ordinance will not be able to be made until the Ordinance comes into force on 1st October. However, employees, employers, service users and service providers are now able to access guidance on the Ordinance through the EEOS website."