Islanders want to toughen Jersey's discrimination law, with claims currently capped at £10,000

Mum Sarah (pictured left with her daughter Maggie) is calling for changes to Jersey's discrimination law, with Deputy Elaine Millar (right) holding a consultations on the concerns. Credit: ITV Channel

Islanders are calling for Jersey's discrimination law to be toughened, with the amount awarded to successful claimants currently capped at £10,000.

By comparison, there is no limit in the UK. Their highest awards have topped £200,000 - accounting for things like loss of earnings and psychological damage.

Last year, mum Sarah made a claim under Jersey's discrimination law for emotional distress, after her daughter was denied access to a sports club because she had Down's syndrome.

Sarah found the whole process stressful and time-consuming: "[It] took me nearly a month full time to pull together all my statements, their statements, emails - I did a freedom of information request, I did a data access request.

"A lot of people would probably give up, or not even start the process".

Only two claimants have been awarded the maximum compensation since the law came in nine years ago.

Huw Thomas, an employment lawyer, said that when compensation cannot exceed £10,000, the amount of work required puts many people off.

He said: "My personal view is [the cap] should be higher … it would drive more claims - certainly more of the well-founded claims to the tribunal which is where they belong."

Mother Sarah added that it is not about the money: "It was about Maggie doing something that other children take for granted.

"Societies and clubs over here - they need to read the legislation and understand their responsibilities to people like Maggie".

Deputy Elaine Millar says she is reviewing the amount and a consultation about increasing it is running until 12 January 2024.

"We'll see what the outcome of that consultation is and what the Employment Forum tells us and we'll then decide what we need to do about it.

"But I think [the maximum amount] is too low".

Deputy Millar added that any law change will likely happen next year.

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