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Discrimination Legislation

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This page contains information about the incoming Discrimination Legislation, including when this is likely to be introduced and how this might affect employers, employees and other members of the public.

The Committee for Employment & Social Security is currently undergoing a technical consultation process targeted at selected parties to ascertain whether the provisions of the draft Prevention of Discrimination (Guernsey) Ordinance are clear and will be well understood and to confirm they agree that the draft is in line with the policy direction set by the States.  In the interests of transparency, the Committee has decided to make the draft Ordinance available to anyone who wishes to see it and it can be downloaded from this page. Any technical feedback from parties outside the targeted consultation can be sent to equality@gov.gg by 28 February 2022. Further information on this process is available here.

When will discrimination legislation be introduced?

It is currently anticipated that discrimination legislation will come into force in spring 2023.

The Ordinance is likely to return to the States for approval in 2022. The Committee for Employment & Social Security is working to ensure that structures are in place to give people information and advice, as well as to register and hear complaints raised under the legislation.

Why is discrimination legislation needed?

Discrimination legislation promotes and protects people's right to equality of status, opportunity, treatment and non-discrimination on the basis of various 'grounds of protection' specified in the legislation.

How will discrimination legislation affect me as an employer, employee or service provider?
  • As an employer

    • Many of the duties that employers will have under the new legislation will be things they are advised to do already, like having an harassment policy and a diversity or equality policy. This should be proportionate for the size of the business (the tribunal will understand that small organisations work in a less formal way).
    • The following list gives an idea of what employers should consider:
      • reviewing their policies and procedures to ensure they are not discriminatory;
      • train staff to understand their duties;
      • prepare to offer reasonable adjustments; and
      • consider undertaking an access audit.
    • The list is not exhaustive, and you can see more guidance and information by clicking on the green button below. Further training and guidance will be available during 2022.
  • As an employee

    • Employees currently have some protection against discrimination on the grounds of sex, marriage and gender reassignment in employment. Under the new law discrimination will also be unlawful in the case of race, religion, carer status, disability and sexual orientation.
    • If an employee is concerned that they have encountered discrimination, on any of the above grounds, then they will be able to seek advice from the Employment and Equal Opportunities Service.
  • As a service provider

    • Service providers will be required to ensure that they are not being discriminatory to service users/customers. They should not refuse to provide a service to an individual because of their race, religion, carer status, disability or sexual orientation.
    • The legislation will also place a duty on service providers to make reasonable adjustments to enable disabled people to have the same opportunities as others and be fully included in society.
    • For providers of goods and services and education the reasonable adjustment duty is anticipatory. This means that they should think in advance about how to meet relatively common access needs.

Further information, including the background behind the Discrimination Legislation, is available below.

  • What has happened so far?

    • 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.
    • The Committee for Employment & Social Security carried out extensive consultation during the summer of 2019, following which it substantially modified its proposals. The original consultation document and summary of the consultation findings are available to download here.
    • How the Committee's policy proposals changed between the summer of 2019 and March 2020 is explained within Appendix 4, Section 2 of the policy letter. This section of the policy letter is available in the downloads section.
    • 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 in the downloads section. A summary of the proposals and FAQs on the accessibility aspects of the proposals are available for download on this page.
    • The proposals were debated by the States in the July 2020 States meeting. During the States debate an amendment was passed to bring the characteristics of race and sexual orientation into phase 1 and for the rest of the characteristics included in the policy letter to phase 2. The amended proposals for the discrimination legislation were passed on 17th July 2020. The Resolutions agreed by the States can be found here.
    • A further policy letter on sexual orientation and religious belief was discussed by the States in November 2021. That policy letter and the amendments agreed by the States can be found here. The States decided to protect religious belief but not to include protection for non-secular belief and the Committee's suggestion to reframe that ground to religion or belief was lost.
  • Who will be protected under discrimination legislation?

    • 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 time being.
    • Phase one of the new legislation would cover discrimination on the grounds of:
      • Race (which includes colour, descent, national or ethnic origin and nationality)
      • Disability
      • Carer status (people who provide care or support for a close relative or a person that they live with who has a disability)
      • Religious belief
      • Sexual Orientation
    • Phase two of the legislation will require further policy work to be undertaken prior to the introduction of the additional grounds of protection listed below.
      • Age
      • Sex, marriage and gender reassignment (or equivalent grounds) will be reviewed and may be 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 on the grounds of sex would be introduced.
  • Why has the Discrimination Law from Jersey not been used as a model?

    • The Committee identified a number of areas where it recommended in the proposals that the new Guernsey discrimination Ordinance should differ from the Jersey approach.
    • These can be subdivided into four key areas:
      • areas where the Committee for Employment & Social Security wished to adopt a different policy position to Jersey;
      • areas where the Committee wanted to provide clarity through explicit provisions rather than key provisions relying on interpreting the legislation in line with case law from the UK;
      • areas where there are differences between Guernsey and Jersey that needed to be reflected in the Guernsey proposals; and
      • areas where Jersey either goes further than the Guernsey draft technical proposals or where the Jersey position was relatively untested in terms of the number of cases going before a tribunal at the time of writing.
    • These are explained in more detail in Appendix 5 of the policy letter. This appendix can be downloaded on this page.
  • Has there been any consultation with businesses or employers?

    • The Committee for Employment & Social Security carried out extensive consultation during the summer of 2019, following which it substantially modified its proposals. The original consultation document and summary of the consultation findings are available to download here.
    • As part of this consultation, meetings or events took place with a number of groups including small businesses, Chamber of Commerce, Institute of Directors, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and Private Landlords.
    • A Discrimination Legislation Stakeholder Group has also been formed including representatives from business, private schools, hospitality, employment law, landlords, as well as representatives of the grounds of protection that will be included in Phase 1 of the Ordinance. This group provides a feedback to the Committee for Employment & Social Security on the plans for implementing the new Discrimination Ordinance.
    • A technical consultation on the wording of the draft Ordinance is currently underway. This consultation is specifically targeted at those who either have employment or discrimination legislative expertise, or who have a special interest in the Ordinance, such as those who represent stakeholders who will have specific responsibilities under the legislation or represent a ground of protection. Technical feedback from parties outside the targeted consultation is also welcome by email to equality@gov.gg by 28 February 2022.
  • Training to support the Implementation of the Discrimination Ordinance

    • The Committee for Employment & Social Security has announced a Consortium and Appleby as the providers of training and guidance documents respectively, for the Discrimination Legislation.
    • The Consortium, led by The Guernsey Institute and international law firm, Walkers, brings together several key organisations including Equality Guernsey, Guernsey Disability Alliance, Guernsey Employment Trust, Liberate Guernsey and Focus HR.
    • They will work together to deliver a comprehensive training and development programme. This will be an important element of the support available to assist employers and service providers in understanding and preparing for the new Legislation.
    • The training and guidance documents will be available from Q3 2022.
    • More information about the discrimination legislation and what the training will include is available here.
    • When the Employment and Equal Opportunities Service launches during the second half of 2022, guidance will be available to help people think through what access issues might be relevant to them.
  • Employment and Equal Opportunities Service (EEOS)

    • The existing Employment Relations Service will be developed into an Employment and Equal Opportunities Service. The EEOS will offer free advice and pre-complaint conciliation to try to help people to resolve issues before a formal complaint is registered.
  • Future phases of development of the Ordinance

    • A graphic showing the future phases of development of the Ordinance is available in the downloads section.
    • Phase 1: Spring 2023
    • In force:
      • Religious belief
      • Sexual orientation
      • Carer status
      • Race
      • Disability
    • Phase 2a: 2023
    • Policy Letter:
      • Age
      • Replacement of Sex Discrimination Ordinance
      • Intersectional Discrimination
    • Phase 2a: 2024
    • In force:
      • Age
      • Replacement of Sex Discrimination Ordinance
      • Intersectional Discrimination
    • Phase 2b: 2025 to 2026
    • Policy work for Phase 2b:
      • Equal pay for work of equal value
    • Phase 2b: Spring 2028
    • Implementation of delayed elements of Phase 1:
      • Physical features
      • Accessibility Action Plans (public sector)
    • Education complaints - as soon as possible, but no later than 2026

Downloads

The Prevention of Discrimination (Guernsey) Ordinance 2022 - DRAFT Committee for Employment & Social Security detailed response to GPEG report - 16 July 2021 Policy Letter- proposals for a new discrimination ordinance Appendix 4 Changes to proposals following consultation Appendix 5: Committees view on the Jersey Law FAQs Accessibility Future phases of Discrimination Legislation

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Write to us:
Discrimination Team

Level 4, Edward T. Wheadon House,  Le Truchot,  St Peter Port,  Guernsey,  GY1 3WH

Email us:
equality@gov.gg

Call us:
01481 222882

Opening hours:
Monday - Friday

Building: 08:45AM-4:00PM, Phone: 08:30AM-4:45PM (4:30pm for phones on Fridays)

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