05 October 2010
The Social Security Minister has lodged an act that would introduce protection for employees who are made redundant from 1 January 2011.
The States has already approved the law that would entitle employees with at least 2 years’ continuous employment to receive a redundancy payment from their employer. The redundancy payment would be equivalent to 1 week’s pay (up to a maximum of the average weekly earnings figure) for each full year of employment.
Social Security Minister, Deputy Ian Gorst said “Employers will be aware that this new law was due to come into force shortly and the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service has been running training courses for the past year. It is essential that employees are protected as soon as possible.”
The States will debate the proposed date of enactment on 19 October.
The Minister is also proposing that one aspect of the redundancy law, as currently drafted, should not come into force on 1 January 2011 in its current form, pending a further States debate of an amendment to the law on 16 November.
Deputy Gorst said “Last year, the States decided to significantly reduce the number of proposed redundancies that would trigger the requirement for an employer to consult collectively with trade union and staff representatives on behalf of employees. However, public consultation by the forum revealed that the revised threshold is too low.
"I am therefore proposing that part of the law is withheld temporarily and I will be asking the States to debate my amendment which provides a pragmatic solution, balancing the Forum’s recommendations with the views of the States Assembly. Employees will still have the right to be consulted individually about proposed redundancies in the meantime.”
The Minister also intends to retain the upper age limit on the right to claim unfair dismissal. Currently, the right to claim unfair dismissal is not available to an employee who, on or before the effective date of termination of employment, has reached ‘retirement age’; either the normal retirement age for the position within the undertaking, or when pensionable age has been reached under the 1974 Social Security Law.
Before removing the upper age limit on unfair dismissal, the Minister wishes to review the matter in view of the probability that age discrimination legislation will not be in force in the near future, as well as consider the outcomes of UK consultation on the default retirement age.
Employment Forum's recommendations on collective redundancy (government and administration section)