Deputies determined to meet deadline
THE deputies spearheading proposed discrimination legislation have reiterated their determination to see through the ‘promise’ of action.
Their assurances came after being asked about the possibility of extending the consultation period.
‘It’s such a tight deadline, we have to bring back the policy paper for April,’ said Deputy Michelle Le Clerc.
‘This is a promise we have made to the people of Guernsey,’ said Deputy Emilie Yerby.
‘The time frame for consultation is actually longer than the States would usually give.'
During a lunch and learn event held at Guernsey Chamber of Commerce yesterday, executive director of the chamber Kay Leslie said there were members who wanted to see the consultation period go beyond 30 September.
‘From a chamber perspective the biggest demand is for the consultation period to be extended.
‘To have a two-month consultation period through the summer holidays is causing businesses concern.’
However, Deputy Le Clerc said an extension would run the risk of policy plans not being put forward to the States by the April deadline. She did not believe the legislation would progress to the level islanders would expect if plans were left for the next political term.
‘Since 1976 when Guernsey started signing up to conventions on this, very little has been done.
‘I would reconsider running for the States if the policy paper is delivered,’ said Deputy Le Clerc.
She said she would be prepared to compromise on concerns over consultation time.
Once the consultation period ends, ESS will go through comments and amend the proposals.
They will release consultation results by December.
After that the policy paper will be written up and taken to the States where it will be debated.
One of the areas Deputy Le Clerc said may be changed was the term ‘appropriate adjustment’, for what employers would be required to do, due to a lot of concerns by what this means.
In the UK it is termed a ‘reasonable adjustment’ but this was changed for Guernsey proposals to move away from terms around litigation when the legislation hopes to be civil rather than legal.
‘We haven’t got the balance quite right yet, and we have people at polar opposites so we can’t please everyone but it is really important for people to give feedback,’ said Deputy Le Clerc.
Some are concerned about the cost impact on business from legislation that they feel goes too far. Information is available at gov.gg/discriminationconsultation.