Legislation under the Disability and Inclusion Strategy
In 2013, the States of Guernsey committed to introducing Disability Discrimination Legislation in line with the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [CRPD].
This was part of the work under the Disability and Inclusion Strategy report which the States agreed to along with other work to help people with impairments and protect the rights of people affected by disability including carers.
That project is being overseen by the Committee for Employment and Social Security, who have proposed the introduction of Discrimination Legislation on multiple grounds, including disability. These proposals were considered by the States in July 2020 who unanimously agreed to accept the proposals for legislation to be drafted.
For a copy of the States Policy Letter click report.
To see what the States then went on to decide click resolutions.
At the July 2020 States meeting it was agreed that the phasing should be in 2 rather than 3 parts (as had been suggested in the States report).
Following a successful amendment the grounds of sexual orientation and religion were added to phase 1 of the discrimination legislation drafting. A Policy Letter is expected late spring /early summer 2021 with detailed drafting instructions for the States to consider on these two grounds. The originally proposed grounds of race, disability and carer status, for phase 1, have already had their detailed drafting instructions considered and forwarded to the Law Officers for drafting to start.
The following represents the grounds that are due to be protected under phase 1:
Following the changes to phase 1 this left the grounds already protected in employment under the current legislation and the grounds of age. All these grounds currently make up phase 2 of the discrimination legislation.
The following represents the grounds that are due to be protected under phase 2:
The timeline from the July 2020 debate is:
It is understood that a Law Officer has been allocated and drafting has started on the grounds of race, disability and carer status.
Drafting cannot start in relation to sexual orientation and religion/ belief until the States have agreed more detailed proposals for legislation on these grounds. Consultation has been undertaken on the proposals, following which changes were being considered by the Committee for Employment and Social Security (ESS) before finalising the Policy Letter which will come to the States soon.
An attitudes survey is also part of this work and is likely to be undertaken in 2022.
The Partnership Director of the GDA, Karen Blanchford is working with the staff at ESS to ensure appropriate and effective training is rolled out in a timely manner.
Government Work Plan
Phase 1 of the discrimination legislation is one of the actions prioritised in the Government Work Plan that was considered by the States in March 2021. This was only stage 1 of the Work Plan which set the direction of travel. However, reassurances have been given by the Chief Minister, Deputy Peter Ferbrache that those projects that are more than 50% complete and have financial and human resources already allocated to them should continue.
Stage 2 of the Government Work Plan is due to be considered in July 2021 at which time the resources required for prioritised actions will be allocated. The diagram below sets out the three stages of the Work Plan.
If phase 2 of the discrimination legislation is not provided with any resources in July it is unlikely to be worked on during this political term. This would mean that age would be left as the ground without any protection in employment. All grounds in phase 2 would be without protection for goods services and education.
The principle of non-discrimination is at the heart of all human rights. The United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [CRPD] requires that governments introduce legislation to prevent discrimination. Governments are also required to review existing policy and legislation, with the goal of eliminating all forms of discrimination experienced by disabled people.
The GDA continues to play a key role in the development and review of such legislation. Our involvement and research is helping to ensure that mistakes experienced elsewhere are avoided and that Guernsey’s legislation will be proportionate, fair and effective.
Guernsey is currently developing multi-ground discrimination legislation. It will have affect in the fields of employment, education and access to goods and services.
Disability and Inclusion Strategy
Highlight Reports and Easy Read Reports on the Disability and Inclusion Strategy Programme