Guernsey Press

ESS president hits back at think tank's criticism

CRITICISM of proposals for anti-discrimination legislation in Guernsey has been condemned by the States committee bringing it forward.

Employment & Social Security president Deputy Peter Roffey. (Picture By Sophie Rabey, 29773917)

Peter Roffey, president of Employment & Social Security, described a report from business-based think tank Gpeg as a ‘non-evidenced, unsubstantiated opinion piece masquerading as a well-researched report, but one that is full of inaccuracies’.

He said the committee felt it had to defend the progress it was making after Gpeg, the Guernsey Policy and Economic Group, which is headed by Lord Digby Jones and businessman Jon Moulton, spoke out against the anti-discrimination move for a third time in four months and claimed it would cost millions for the States and business. The States approved the concept a year ago to the day and law officers are now drafting legislation.

Deputy Roffey said Gpeg continued to promote inaccuracies and he did not want them to stick as ‘fact’.

‘Quite simply the Gpeg report contains so many inaccuracies that any “valid points” they may be intending to make are somewhat lacking in credibility.’

He said Gpeg’s calls for a ‘pause and review’ were ‘simply barking up the wrong tree’.

‘The States will already have the chance to review the draft legislation when it returns – and the rest of the community will be able to see the legislation and lobby States members in advance of the debate if they feel it necessary.

‘It is more than seven years since the States approved the principle of implementing disability discrimination legislation. We have paused and reviewed for long enough already.

‘If you are a good employer that treats your staff with respect and supports them in the workplace if they have additional needs, then you have nothing to fear from anti-discrimination legislation. No amount of attempted scaremongering is going to change that.’