19 September 2014
The Minister for Social Security, Senator Francis Le Gresley, has released his response to the recent consultation on a law to protect against sex discrimination.
The Minister was pleased to receive comments from more than 150 individuals, groups and associations. The report sets out a summary of the responses that were received and highlights the overwhelming support from stakeholders for the proposed new protected characteristics: sex (which includes gender); pregnancy and maternity; sexual orientation and gender reassignment.
Senator Le Gresley said “The consultation asked for views on some challenging and sensitive issues and I found the responses very interesting and thought-provoking. It is inevitable that subjects like these will raise strong opinions and complex issues. Some difficult decisions will have to be made in preparing this law and I have highlighted some of these in the report; however, the responses have reinforced my belief that we must introduce these new protected characteristics.”
The Minister has recognised a number of areas where particular care will be required to ensure that the law reflects modern thinking, for example, in using appropriate terminology, as well as a number of areas where further research and consultation will be required to determine what might be appropriate for Jersey.
The Minister concluded “This is a good starting point and the consultation responses have certainly helped to shape our policy. The preparation of the law will be an ongoing process and I would welcome further comments from stakeholders who would be affected by the law, particularly in areas where I am not proposing an exception, for example, single-sex associations and religious segregation.
"A new Minister will take the Law forward in 2015 but I would like to ensure that the law drafting is well underway so that protection against sex discrimination and family friendly rights in the workplace can be introduced next September as I had planned.”
As with race discrimination, acts of discrimination on grounds of sex, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation and gender reassignment would be prohibited in a range of areas including recruitment, employment, training, education, the sale and letting of premises, and the provision of goods and services.
The Minister will shortly prepare law drafting instructions and will undertake any further consultation and research. The white paper and the summary of responses are available on the website.
Download a summary of responses to the sex discrimination consultation (687 kb)