Preparations for the implementation of phase one of the new multi-ground Discrimination Ordinance is underway.
In July 2020, the States unanimously approved proposals for a new Discrimination Ordinance to be introduced in two phases. The first phase will cover the grounds of disability, carer status, race, sexual orientation and religious belief. The Ordinance, which is currently being drafted, will make discrimination on the basis of any of these grounds in employment, in the provision of goods, services and accommodation, and in the membership of clubs and association unlawful.
A Discrimination Legislation Stakeholder Group has been formed and met for the first time in February 2021. This group will provide a mechanism for feedback to the Committee for Employment & Social Security on the plans for implementing the new Discrimination Ordinance. This first meeting took place remotely and included representatives from business, private schools, hospitality, employment law, landlords, as well as representatives of the grounds of protection that will be included in Phase 1 of the Ordinance. The meeting focussed on identifying training and information requirements.
Training and information for relevant groups will be provided in 2021 and 2022, ahead of the implementation of legislation later in 2022.
Phase 1 of the Ordinance has been recommended for inclusion within the list of emerging strategic recovery actions in the Government Work Plan. The drafting of the new Discrimination Ordinance has also been given high priority status for legal drafting and drafting is underway.
Deputy Peter Roffey, President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security said: “The implementation of a Discrimination Ordinance is a hugely important piece of work. This was evidenced through the significant interest that this generated when it was debated in the States last year. As we progress this work, we will continue to engage with the various groups that will have duties under this new legislation, and those that will be protected by it. This first meeting of the Discrimination Legislation Stakeholder Group highlights our ongoing commitment to do so”.