The Confederation of Guernsey Industry is asking the States of Guernsey to reveal the costs of implementing and running the new anti-discrimination law which are estimated to be around £850,000 per year and for government to publish its own impact analysis.
The request follows recent feedback provided by the CGi to the Committee for Employment and Social Security, in which the Federation asks the States to confirm how the costs of the new legislation – given its position as the Island’s largest employer and property owner – will affect them and how they intend to cover their own costs.
CGi chairman Dave Newman said: “We have no issues in principle with an anti-discrimination law, but it is reasonable to ask where the funding is coming from as well as what checks and balances will be put in place to help business. The CGi would like to understand Guernsey’s new legislation in terms of tribunals, claims and costs, not only to implement but also the projected financial implications of this legislation year on year.
“We are puzzled that as the largest employer, the States of Guernsey has not made the estimated figures transparent, which we believe to be in the order of £850,000 per year. The CGi would also be keen to establish where the funding will be come from to meet such financial ramifications.”
Other points raised by the CGi, in its letter of 28th February to Deputy Peter Roffey, include a request for small businesses – of under 10 employees – to receive partial exemptions from certain provisions of the new law as they are not able to operate in the same way as larger organisations. It has also asked that the legislative measures introduced are both appropriate and proportionate to the Bailiwick’s needs and circumstances.
Dave added: “We are concerned that there appears to be little evidence of a substantial current problem and some smaller organisations, for example, those that are members of our confederation, may find implementing the law challenging.
“We are very mindful of our members’ issues over cost and bureaucracy, particularly at a time when local organisations are grappling with Covid-19, Brexit, the rising costs of raw materials due to the crisis in Ukraine along with staff shortages.”
The CGi is to provide its members with information and guidance and run workshops to help them adapt to the new legislation. It has also engaged with Focus HR and the Guernsey Disability Alliance – two of the consortia appointed by the States – to gain a better understanding and implementation of the law.