With a population of around 90,000, Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and has become a well-regarded international offshore financial centre, home to many major investment banks and finance houses.
Jersey is part of the British Isles but it is not part of the United Kingdom, nor is it a member of the European Union (EU). The Channel Islands have two main administrative units – known as Bailiwicks – of Jersey and Guernsey, which have their own administrative, fiscal and legal systems. Consequently, while there may be many similarities between employment law in the UK and Jersey, there are also some notable differences.
- Discrimination law
Jersey currently has no legislation in place to prevent discrimination. However, in May last year, Jersey’s government passed the island’s first race discrimination law, which will be debated in its parliament this summer. Full details of the law are likely to become available during 2014. Rules on age and disability will follow once this initial legislation is in place, according to Senator Francis Le Gresley.
- Outside the EU
Since Jersey is not part of the EU, it does not fall under the jurisdiction of EU Directives such as the Working Time Regulations. This means there is no statutory limit on daily or weekly hours of work. Likewise, there is no legislation preventing staff from working on Sunday nor special entitlements for those who do. There are, however, specific rules around holiday and holiday pay; insolvency; grievance and disciplinary procedures; and transfers of undertaking.
- Parental rights
There is no statutory right to maternity or paternity leave in Jersey. Women are able to take up to 18 weeks’ leave unpaid and may be entitled to a state allowance. Paternity leave, leave for compassionate reasons and other types of leave are also at the discretion of the employer.
When it comes to recruitment, bear in mind that people who have lived on Jersey more than 10 years are said to have “entitled” residential status, which means they may live and work in Jersey without restrictions. Other statuses include “entitled to work”, “licensed” and “registered”, all of which give the holder different rights to work and live on Jersey.
- Information and consultation
The rules regarding employee consultation and trade unions are broadly similar to those in the UK, with one key exception. Where UK-based employers are obliged under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations to consult with trade unions or other staff groups on key issues that affect them, Jersey employers are under no obligation to consult with employees on any business or employment matter other than collective redundancy.
XpertHR’s guide to employment law in Jersey reveals in full what employers can expect throughout the employment lifecycle, from recruitment to termination of employment. It includes information on health and safety, terminating employment and training and development.