Wednesday 17 July 2019
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Minister backtracks after business criticism over family-friendly law

Minister backtracks after business criticism over family-friendly law

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Minister backtracks after business criticism over family-friendly law


The Minister for Social Security has published an amendment to her proposal for family-friendly employment rights in response to concerns raised by local businesses.

Deputy Judy Martin's updated version of the proposed law contains three key changes to the way in which employees can take parental leave.

Under her changes, the notice period that must be given before any changes to parental leave dates from 14 to 28 days. It also says that parental leave will have to be taken in no more than three blocks, instead of four, and over a two-year period, not three as previously suggested.

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Pictured: Deputy Judy Martin, Minister for Social Security.

The draft Law - which includes proposals for 52 weeks of parental leave for all parents, time off work to attend appointments for adoptive and surrogate parents and paid leave on health and safety grounds for pregnant and breastfeeding women - will complete the roll-out of employment rights for parents first started in 2015. 

If approved by the States Assembly, the draft law will introduce equal rights to parental leave for both parents and breastfeeding rights for mothers.

The most recent version of the draft law, which will be debated by politicians on 30 April, follows concerns vocalised by local business owners. The island's key business lobby group, the Chamber of Commerce, warned that they could push small businesses to the brink, adding that the plans put too much of the cost onto businesses.

The Minister for Social Security said she listened to the views and that she appreciated their concerns, commenting: "I am lodging this amendment to address those concerns and to improve the position for businesses without detracting from the original policy intent, which is to improve the rights of families and support gender equality in the workplace."

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