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Changes to family-friendly draft law after criticism from Jersey businesses

If the draft law is approved, parents could be given a full year off to look after their children, with 6 weeks full pay. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Jersey's Social Security Minister wants to amend the family-friendly draft law after criticism from local businesses who say it would put them at a disadvantage.

The amendment proposes three main changes to the way new mums and dads can take parental leave:

  • Changing the notice period a parent must give of changes to their leave dates from 14 days to 28 days
  • Leave taken in no more than three blocks (reduced from four)
  • Leave to be taken over a two-year period (reduced from three years)

If approved, parents could be given a full year off to look after their children with 6 weeks full pay.

It would also extend current Family-Friendly employment rights, and would include time off work to attend appointments for adoptive and surrogate parents.

The Social Security Minister says she does not want the amendment to change the purpose of the original policy.

I am lodging this amendment to address those concerns and to improve the position for businesses without detracting from the original policy intent.

– Deputy Judy Martin, Jersey's Social Security Minsiter

The Chamber of Commerce says approving the law would pass the burden on to local businesses, forcing them to pay the benefit out of their own money.

Last week, the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel asked the Social Security Minister to withdraw the proposition so she could take into account their findings.

In order to allow us sufficient time to explore these and other areas further we respectfully request that you withdraw the proposition and await the findings of our review before lodging a new proposition.

– Deputy Kirsten Morel, Chairman of the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel

The States Assembly will debate the draft law on the 30th April.

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