Following yesterday’s announcement that the Minister for Social Security is to amend her own Amendment (P.17/2019) on Family Friendly legislation, Chamber President Eliot Lincoln is again calling on the Minister to review the impacts of recently introduced laws on businesses large and small before making further changes and possibly bringing in unworkable legislation.
"The Minister has only listened in part to our concerns, by making last minute adjustments in an attempt at pushing through changes without having any knowledge of the impacts on businesses from the last legislation changes six months ago. This is not what is required. We support the aims of the Family Friendly legislation, but it must first be fit for purpose, by fully understanding the unintended consequences to the economy, and that means evaluating the current laws for 12 months before putting further pressure on business"
Family Friendly legislation, recently introduced in September 2018, already offers 26 weeks’ leave each for both parents, with the employer paying 6 weeks’ wages for each. This does not include holiday and bank holidays which will accrue during maternity, parental and adoption leave, increasing the employer costs even further. The new amended proposal from the Minister would increase leave to 52 weeks, for each parent, which could be taken in three blocks over two years.
Eliot Lincoln says this new legislation must recognise the exceptional situation of Jersey; “We have unique circumstances, with an island at close to full employment, and therefore little scope for businesses to recruit skilled short-term cover. This will put huge pressure on employees having to cope with more work and less staff. The additional recruitment and extra facilities that employers will need to provide all add to business costs and yet there is no financial support forthcoming from Government to assist. It is important that our politicians have a clear informed understanding of the current impacts, before making any decisions that increase costs and strains on businesses further”
Jersey Chamber of Commerce Press Release.