In October the States Assembly approved new family-friendly employment rights which doubled the amount of leave parents are entitled to, to 52 weeks, with six weeks of that period on full pay.
The changes are due to come into force on 28 June, but concerns have been raised that employers will not be ready in time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a letter to Social Security Minister Judy Martin, Deputy Kirsten Morel, who chairs the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel, said: ‘The panel acknowledges that the extensions to employment rights will improve the position for parents in the workplace. However, given the current situation with Covid-19, where employers have been severely affected, we would recommend delaying the implementation of the changes until September.
‘We acknowledge that a careful balance needs to be struck between fostering a family-friendly culture in Jersey and supporting our business community. In that regard the panel believes that introducing these changes in the present climate will put additional and unnecessary pressure on businesses in the short term, even with your plans for an interim subsidy scheme.’
In the States debate in October, some politicians said the move could have a negative impact on employers, but the changes were approved with an agreement to review the move in two years.
Deputy Morel’s letter continued: ‘We fully acknowledge that the family-friendly changes will come into force, but we fail to see any reason why, amidst a pandemic, additional pressure should be put on the business community, which has suffered greatly as a result of the crisis, by introducing these changes now rather than delaying their implementation by two months.
‘In light of its views on the matter, the panel recommends that, as a gesture of solidarity, you should delay the Appointed Day Act until September to give businesses the time
they need to prepare for the changes.’