As part of the Disability and Inclusion Strategy, the States agreed that detailed policy proposals should be developed for the introduction of disability discrimination legislation.
On 2nd March 2020, the Committee published proposals for new discrimination legislation which will make it unlawful for employers and service providers to discriminate on the grounds of disability, carer status and race. The Policy Letter outlining these proposals is available here. A summary of the proposals and an easy read summary and FAQs on the accessibility aspects of the proposals are available for download on this page.
In the process of developing its proposals, the Committee published draft policy proposals for consultation on 9th July 2019. The Committee's draft policy proposals and the summary of the consultation findings are available to download at: www.gov.gg/discriminationconsultation. In June 2018, the States of Guernsey unanimously agreed that the Committee for Employment and Social Security should develop proposals for new legislation to protect people from discrimination on multiple grounds (Amendment to The Policy & Resources Plan). However, the Committee refocused the work on fewer protected grounds due to the quantity of feedback received and limited timeframe available to undertake the work. The Committee intends that there will be future phases of work to introduce the outstanding grounds of protection.
What is the purpose of the discrimination legislation?
- Discrimination legislation promotes and protects people's right to equality of status, opportunity and treatment and non-discrimination on the basis of various 'grounds of protection' specified in the legislation.
If approved by the States, what might Guernsey's legislation do?
- The legislation would make discrimination in employment and when accessing goods and services, education, accommodation and clubs and associations unlawful. There will be some exceptions to this general rule in certain justifiable situations.
- People who feel that they have been discriminated against will be able to obtain advice and assistance to resolve their complaint in an informal manner. If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, there will be a mechanism for formal adjudication. If the complaint is upheld there will be various awards and remedies available.
Who will be protected from discrimination?
- The Sex Discrimination (Employment) (Guernsey) Ordinance, 2005 already makes discrimination on the grounds of sex, marriage and gender reassignment unlawful in employment. This will remain in force for the timebeing.
- The proposed new legislation (which, if agreed and drafted, might come into force in 2022) would cover discrimination on the grounds of:
- Race (which includes colour, descent, national or ethnic origin and nationality)
- Carer status (people who provide care or support for a close relative or a person that they live with who has a disability)
- The Committee intends that further work would be undertaken on the following grounds to introduce legislation at a later date:
- Religious belief
- Sexual Orientation
- That sex, marriage and gender reassignment (or equivalent grounds) should be reviewed and incorporated into the new legislation, repealing the existing Sex Discrimination Ordinance. This would mean that protection on these grounds would be extended beyond employment and that equal pay for work of equal value would be introduced.
What's the plan?
- The Committee published proposals on 2nd March 2020. These will be debated by the States in the April 2020 States Meeting.
- If the States approve the proposals, the legislation will then need to be drafted and returned to the States for approval. The Committee will need to undertake some work to ensure that structures are in place to give people information and advice and register and hear complaints raised under the legislation. The Committee has not set a date for when the legislation will come into force, although it is anticipated that this may be during 2022.