Feedback still needed on discrimination law
WITH just 17 days to go until the discrimination legislation consultation period closes, Employment & Social Security is still looking for feedback on drafts.
Following a lunch and learn event at Guernsey Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, another event was held yesterday to give employers and businesses the chance to ask questions on the proposals put forward by ESS, with committee president Michelle Le Clerc and committee member Deputy Emilie Yerby on hand to answer queries.
The event was held at St James by the Chartered Institute of Personnel, with members of the Institute of Directors.
Deputy Yerby reiterated that the broad definition currently put forward on disability does cover both physical and mental disabilities.
The last survey on how many people are living with a disability in Guernsey was carried out in 2012.
‘About one in five to one in six people in Guernsey have some long-term condition which could equate to a disability,’ she said.
‘However, even if just a small amount of people were affected, it has a really profound impact on their lives. If a person can’t access workplaces because employers aren’t changing, even if they have all the appropriate qualifications, that shuts them out of the workplace.
‘For our committee, getting them in the workplace is absolutely critical.’
Deputy Le Clerc said: ‘If you are already good employers, already doing your appraisals, there will be no additional burden to you.
‘For service providers it has already been highlighted that a person with some mobility issues might just want a seat in a shop and just that would make a significant difference.’
A video presentation shown to the group, based on other jurisdictions with similar legislation in place, said that only a third of cases required an appropriate adjustment.
Of these, 95% were a one-off cost, with others requiring more than one cost.
One IoD member raised a concern that although adjustments may not come at a cost, extra time that staff would spend on assessments and reviews to ensure everything was in place would be at a cost to businesses.
IoD vice chairman Stretch Kontelj said members would benefit from seeing evidence of how much adjustments were set to cost the States, and the ESS committee, which employs the most staff.
Deputy Le Clerc said research into this was ongoing.