Extended maternity and paternity leave provision comes into force in Jersey from the start of next month and employers need to have updated handbooks, policies and contracts in time for the change.
The new rights offer 26 weeks of leave to parents with no qualifying period, with six weeks paid at the employee’s usual full rate by their employer.
Partners will also have the right to attend an unlimited number of ante-natal appointments, with the first ten hours of appointments paid by their employer.
The current rules offer new mothers two weeks of paid leave, and an additional six weeks of unpaid leave – with an extra ten weeks of unpaid leave for employees with more than 15 months’ service.
Under the existing rules, new fathers are entitled to two weeks’ unpaid leave, and do not have the right to time off for ante-natal appointments.
Laura Shirreffs, an associate in Ogier’s Jersey employment law team, said that employers who had not yet updated key documents should make sure that they had done so by the start of September.
“These are significant changes to statutory minimum provisions that must be reflected in contracts and policies of employers in the island,” said Laura.
“Employers must also review their recruitment policies – the law protects pregnancy and maternity and makes it unlawful to discriminate, harass or victimise any person on these grounds, including in decisions about recruitment or promotion.
“For the vast majority of employers this will be a simple exercise, but it is crucial that their policies, contracts and handbooks reflect the wording of the reformed law from the start of September.”
Ogier has published an At A Glance infographic in respect of the changes – you can read it here.