The organisation charged with defusing workplace disputes has seen a sharp fall in the number of enquiries about redundancy – suggesting that the economy has turned a corner.
The Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service saw the number of people asking for help with a redundancy-related issue – both bosses and workers – fall from 1,200 to 500 between 2013 and last year.
JACS enquiries can been seen as one barometer of economic activity as it tends to be the first port of call for businesses and staff involved in an employment dispute.
Director Patricia Rowan said: “This is a good indicator that fewer redundancies are taking place so I think the Island can take some comfort from that."
Despite fewer ‘contacts’, JACS has seen the nature of queries become more detailed and complex as basic knowledge of the Island’s Employment Law has grown since its introduction in 2004.
Mrs Rowan added that she was pleased to see that the Island’s new Discrimination Law, introduced last September, had not prompted any dispute.
"There had been a lot of concern about the new law, which initially covers race, and the extra workload it might create for employers but we have not received one claim," she said. "I think that shows that all the preparation and awareness-raising beforehand was worth it – businesses had the right procedures in place in time."
In total, JACS dealt with just over 6,500 client ‘contacts’ in 2014. The Employment Tribunal sent 143 claims to JACS for conciliation – a 17 per cent fall from the year before. Of those claims, 100 were settled, either by JACs or the parties themselves.
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