A draft law has been lodged to introduce further progressive family-friendly employment rights into Jersey.

The Draft Employment (Amendment No. 11) (Jersey) Law 201- will introduce once enacted, the second stage of proposals following a recommendation from the Employment Forum in December 2017.

The proposals include:

  • 52 weeks of parental leave for all parents, including adoptive and surrogate parents (with six weeks being paid by the employer at the employee’s normal rate of pay);

  • time off work to attend appointments for adoptive and surrogate parents;

  • breastfeeding rights, including breaks and workplace facilities; and

  • paid leave, where necessary, on health and safety grounds for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Employers would have to take reasonable steps to provide facilities at work for breastfeeding mothers to express and store milk, where an employee requests it. In small workplaces it may not be possible to provide dedicated facilities and so the draft law takes into account the cost, resources available to the employer and the size of the business.

This second stage of improvements to family friendly rights is intended to follow a year after maternity leave was extended to 26 weeks in September 2018. The draft law, if approved, will come into force in September 2019, giving businesses more time to prepare.