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New family-friendly employment rights effective from 28 June 2020

Employment Law | Individual Legal Services
22 May 2020

Family-friendly legislation giving new parents up to a year off work – six weeks of which would be paid by employers – could come into force on 28 June, if politicians agree.

The Minister for Social Security, Deputy Judy Martin, is seeking approval from the States Assembly for the family-friendly Employment Law changes to come into force on 28 June.

The amended Law, approved by the States Assembly on 24 October 2019, entitles all new parents to 52 weeks of parental leave, with 6 weeks to be paid by the employer. The Law also introduces workplace rights to breastfeed and requires employers to take reasonable steps to provide breastfeeding facilities.

Since the approval of the Law, the outbreak of coronavirus has led to delays in extending the benefit system to include parental benefits for both parents, which will, in turn, reduce the cost to the employer.

Therefore, in the interim, when the legal right to take paid leave is extended to all parents, the Minister proposes to introduce a temporary subsidy scheme to support employers with some of their additional costs. This scheme will continue until the work on the parental benefit has been completed, scrutinised and approved by the Assembly. The anticipated timeline for this is to bring forward these benefit regulations for approval in late 2020 for implementation in early 2021.

Minister for Social Security, Deputy Judy Martin, said:

I am proud to be bringing this proposal forward for approval by the Assembly. In 2018, I committed to putting children first, along with my colleagues. During these challenging times, it is of utmost importance to stand true to this promise.

To put children first, we have to look after parents, and support them to spend time with their child during the first crucial year of their life. This legislation – along with the interim subsidy scheme – allows us to care for families while also supporting businesses until the permanent Regulations are in place.

For a detailed summary of the changes – https://www.jacs.org.je/media/1070/summary-of-family-friendly.pdf [1]

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