14 June 2019
The Minister for Social Security, Deputy Judy Martin, has temporarily withdrawn her proposals for changes to family friendly employment rights.
This means that the Draft Employment (Amendment No.11) (Jersey) Law 201- (P.17/2019) will not be debated by the States Assembly on 18 June and that, unfortunately, it will not come into force this year as planned.
Deputy Martin said: “I’m disappointed not to be able to bring forward these proposals for debate next week but I remain committed to building on the existing employment rights of parents. However, an issue has recently been brought to my attention that I will need to address in the legislation. Having consulted with the Council of Ministers, withdrawal was the best option to ensure that any required amendment to the Law can be carefully considered.
“I am particularly disappointed not to be introducing the new rights relating to breastfeeding breaks and facilities this year, but I want to reassure parents that I will return to the States with the revised draft Law as soon as I can, for debate in the Autumn States sitting.”
The issue that the Minister will address relates to her proposal to remove the concept of ‘compulsory maternity leave’, which is an absolute right with no conditions for mothers only, and to replace it with equal rights to leave for all new parents upon fulfilment of certain conditions.
This change may affect a small minority of cases where a pregnant woman fails to give her employer notice of her intention to take leave at the appropriate time. However, the Minister wishes to ensure continued protection for all mothers so that they cannot be required to work in the weeks immediately following childbirth.