The Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel will undertake a review of the proposals to extend family friendly employment rights. The Panel’s review of the legislation will focus in particular on the consultation process and the possible impacts that the changes might have on businesses and the Island’s economy.
The proposals follow a review of family friendly rights by the Employment Forum, and include an extension from 26 weeks to 52 weeks of leave for all parents which can be taken in up to 4 blocks during the 3 year period from birth.
The Panel has agreed to review the proposed extensions as concerns have been raised about the effects the changes may have on businesses - small businesses in particular. Although the Employment Forum used its consultation database, the number of written responses from employers was low:
- Employee 191
- Employer 27
- Trade union/staff association 2
- Employers’ association/trade body 3
- Other 30
- Not specified 78
- Total 331
Chairman of the Panel, Deputy Kirsten Morel said:
“Family friendly employment rights are important to the whole island but any proposals need to be balanced and must take employers’ views into account, as well as those of employees.
“From the evidence we have, there’s a possibility that the original consultation process didn’t achieve the necessary balance or reach a sufficiently broad range of employers.
“Along with several members of the States Assembly, I’ve been contacted by many small business owners who have raised concerns about the demands the new legislation will place on them and how it could affect their businesses.
“Ordinarily, propositions lodged by the Social Security Minister are scrutinised by the Health and Social Services Scrutiny Panel but because the majority of the concerns being raised come from the business community, I’ve worked with Deputy Le Hegarat and the other members of the Chairmen’s Committee, to move scrutiny of this legislation to the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel.
“Whilst our scrutiny process will have a particular focus on the economic effects of the proposition and the consultation process, the Panel will scrutinise the whole legislation to ensure that it works well for both families and employers.
“To ensure we have enough time to scrutinise the proposed legislation, I’ve asked the Minister to postpone debate on P.17/2019 until the sitting of 30th April and look forward to working with her and her team as we undertake a thorough scrutiny process.”
Scrutiny Press Release.