Some small Jersey businesses 'ignoring' employment law

Senator Francis Le Gresley
Image caption Senator Francis Le Gresley said he would consider the report's findings

Some small Jersey businesses are ignoring basic principles of the employment law according to a review.

Darren Newman, an employment law expert, reviewed the Jersey Employment Tribunal after increasing criticism from some employers.

He found overall the tribunal system was fair and consistent.

But he said some small employers were "struggling with or ignoring altogether some of the basic principles" of the laws for unfair dismissal.

He said it was in instances of "on the spot dismissal where employers could really get in trouble."

Mr Newman said: "Whether anything can be done to improve their capacity or awareness in this area is beyond the scope of this report, but obviously the advice and support available from JACS [Jersey's Advisory and Conciliation Service] is key."

The review was commissioned by the social security Minister after what he described as increasing levels of criticism by certain employers and employer representative bodies.

Senator Francis Le Gresley said he would consider the reports findings in conjunction with the chairman of the Employment Tribunal and the director of JACS to decide whether further action was needed to address the problems.

David Witherington, director of JACS, said about half the 5,000 inquiries to the service last year were from employers with fewer than 50 staff.

He said: "I don't yet know what more JACS can do to make people aware than we are present, but we certainly will be talking to the minister and to the tribunal chair to see what we can do."

However, Senator Le Gresley said the review found the Jersey Employment Tribunal was "not biased in favour of employees and the criticism that tribunal decisions are inconsistent is unfounded".

He said he hoped the publishing of the report would reinforce the reputation of the tribunal.

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