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  1. ITV Report

Guernsey States asks for views on discrimination law

The aim is to allow all individuals an equal and fair chance to access opportunities available in society. Credit: Kelly Redinger/Zuma Press/PA Images

People in Guernsey can have their say on possible new discrimination laws.

The Committee for Employment & Social Security has drafted proposals to make sure people are treated fairly at work.

The aim is to allow all individuals an equal and fair chance to access opportunities available in society.

  • What is discrimination?

'Discrimination' means treating a person or particular group of people differently, especially in a worse way because of a personal characteristic such as their race, sex, age or sexual orientation.

  • The proposals refer to 10 'grounds of protection' which are:

Age, carer status, disability, marital status, pregnancy or maternity status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation and trans status.

  • What does the proposed law mean?

If an employer or employee discriminates against a person, then they will have the opportunity to put things right, or could be awarded compensation.

  • How will complaints be handled?

The Committee is suggesting that complaints should be handled in a similar way to Sex Discrimination complaints. That is through the Employment and Discrimination Tribunal (EDT), where the aim is to resolve an issue internally with free advice.

If this method fails, the person would be able to register a complaint with the EDT. If no resolution is reached informally, the case will go to a tribunal hearing.

We want to make sure that people have opportunities to resolve things early on without needing to go to a Tribunal hearing.

The Committee believe that good quality, free advice early on could help people with concerns and also help small businesses and employers to understand their responsibilities so that discrimination doesn't happen in the first place.

– Deputy Emilie Yerby, Member of the Committee for Employment and Social Security

There are also proposals for an Equality Rights Organisation (ERO) to help employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities.

The consultation is open until Monday 30 September 2019.

Some transgender campaigners have called the planned changes to Guernsey's equality legislation as 'misinformed' and 'old fashioned'.

  • WATCH: Rob Byrne meets a campaigner who has voiced concerns about the language used in the consultation...