In England and Wales, because applications can now be submitted online, it is possible to get an exact figure of the number of applications being filed each day. Sadly, this year’s statistics showed that 455 applications were filed during the Christmas week between 24thDecember and 1stJanuary, with 13 submitted on Christmas Day itself.
Whilst it is true to say that the Judicial Greffe here in Jersey is unlikely to be in receipt of more applications today than on any other day, that doesn’t mean that there is not some truth in the story. Indeed what the English figures go to show is that Christmas is a period that people use to reassess their circumstances, relationships included. Certainly the first week after the Christmas holidays, once the children have gone back to school, is a time when quite a few people do seek advice and assistance in relation to separation and divorce.
Acknowledging this fact, we would go as far as to encourage employers to be one step ahead, and prepared to handle any difficulties their employees may be going through. By being well prepared to handle staff needs, employers may be saving themselves and their employees from an escalating situation, which ultimately will not only play out at home, but also at work.
To that end, Corbett Le Quesne offer a dedicated HR support service to businesses, which sets them up with a direct line to a family lawyer and short-notice advice for any staff members who need it.
Advocate Corbett commented: “Many people experience difficulties in their relationships and need to know where to get help. It is not always necessary to rush into divorce proceedings and many relationships can be saved. It is important for people to understand that. Having said that, it is often the initial stage that causes people most concern until they have a full picture of the process and the options available to them. What is important therefore, and can be facilitated by responsible employers through the availability of a HR service, is that information is available when it is needed most.”
Divorce and separation have traditionally not formed part of the HR remit, but it is increasingly acknowledged as an area that needs our attention, with the link between employees’ wellbeing and business productivity undeniable.