Jersey to have discrimination law 'by September', minister says

image copyrightRyan Morrison
image captionAbout 25% of people responding to a survey in 2012 said they felt discriminated against

More than 13 years after work started on a discrimination law, Jersey's social security minister says it will be in place by September.

Senator Francis Le Gresley said he had spent the past two years putting the details of the legislation together.

The minister said it would prohibit any racial discrimination including in work, recruitment, education and clubs.

He added that there would be a public consultation into laws covering gender equality later in the year.

Dr Elena Moran from the Community Relations Trust, a group that promotes and campaigns for equality, says progress must continue.

"I wouldn't like them to rush it to the extent that it is all inter-connected," she said.

"There will be a burden on employers and they need to think hard about whether the package as a whole, in terms of unfair dismissal and other burdens, can be lightened."

Senator Le Gresley stressed that, despite a decade of delays, he had only had about two years to work on the legislation.

He said: "The law stands on its own, each characteristic is added by way of regulation, it is straight forward going forward to add other areas to the law.

"This doesn't just apply to discrimination in the workplace, it applies to eating out, clubs, every aspect of discrimination in Jersey."

Malcolm Ferey from the Citizen's Advice Bureau says it is long overdue.

"We do expect that, in the future, people will come to us with discrimination problems and ask how they can be resolved.

"It is a good story, a positive day for Jersey that we finally get to move forward with a discrimination law."

Mr Ferry added: "When I speak to my colleagues in the UK they are astonished we don't have this kind of law in Jersey."

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