A new law to protect islanders from racial discrimination could finally come into force in September.
Social Security Minister Francis Le Gresley has formally put forward 1 September as the start date for the new Discrimination Law, which will provide legal protection where a person has suffered a detriment because of their “Race”, including colour, nationality, ethnic origin and national origin.
The plan is to add different kinds of discrimination – for instance, discrimination on the grounds of religion, sexual orientation, disability or age – in stages.
Work to prepare businesses is already going on - more than 1,000 delegates have attended employment-related discrimination training arranged by the Jersey Advisory Conciliation Service since 2008.
Funds have been set aside so that JACS can continue to provide its public discrimination law courses free of charge this year. There is also advice on the Citizens Advice Bureau website about the changes.
Senator Le Gresley’s department will be recruiting during the summer for the new Discrimination Tribunal lay members who will sit on the panels that deal with non-employment-related claims issues.
He is now working to introduce discrimination protection on the grounds of sex in conjunction with family-friendly legislation. The family-friendly legislation which will cover things like maternity leave is now being drafted and Senator Le Gresley hopes to take this to the States this year.
Jersey has been well behind other jurisdictions in introducing discrimination laws. The job of bringing in the discrimination legislation has been handed from the Chief Minister’s department to the Home Affairs Minister before Senator Le Gresley took on the task of sorting it out.
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