2018 is a set to be a busy year for employment professionals in Jersey with a raft of new legislation likely to be introduced.
At some point this year, whether before or after the May election, the States will debate the Council of Minister’s draft Migration Policy (R.134), which proposes introducing short and medium-term, time-limited work permits for new registered workers, new initiatives to upskill the resident population, and criminal record checks for recent arrivals.
That’s not all. The States are also scheduled to debate a number of updates to the family friendly rights that are provided in the Employment Law. If the Social Security Minister backs the recommendations of the Employment Forum, new mothers will be entitled to take 26 weeks’ leave from September 2018, including six weeks of paid maternity leave, with parental leave remaining at two weeks but paid by the employer. The Forum has also recommended that leave should be further extended in September 2019 so that both parents are entitled to take 52 weeks of parental leave within a three-year period, taken in up to four blocks, including six weeks of paid (by the employer) parental leave each.
And there’s more. In May, the UK GDPR arrives with Jersey’s new Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 coming into force at the same time. The EU regulation is wide-ranging but within the employment context, employers are going to have to consider issues such as consent, the types of information held and the justification for holding that information, the right for information to be removed, as well as a heightened awareness of how digital information is held and secured. In addition, many organisations will be required to appoint a qualified Data Protection Officer (DPO). This new law has implications for employers, and HR professionals will have to get up to speed as employees will benefit from greater protection.
And let’s not forget that it’s highly likely that discrimination on the grounds of disability will be outlawed from September. Again, the implications are far reaching but employers will have to identify areas in and around their premises where there may be issues for any person who has difficulty getting around or using the facilities. Where possible, an employer will have to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to improve matters.
All this new legislation might sound daunting but there is no reason to baulk. Law At Work is preparing for these changes and can help employers to prepare for and implement them. If you’d like some advice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.