Anti-discrimination law: not just an HR issue

| July 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

Law At Work, Jersey’s employment relations specialists, has partnered with Rossborough to provide a free breakfast briefing event ahead of the introduction of the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013.

The event is designed for employers, business owners, goods and services providers, charities of any size, HR professionals or anyone who is responsible for managing risk within a Jersey business. The briefing will offer an opportunity to learn about the anti-discrimination law and how they can protect themselves and their businesses.

The new anti-discrimination law presents a number of issues for employers and employees, for example in the employment field, protection starts before the employment relationship has begun and prevails after it finishes. Protection extends to: prospective and former employees, agency workers, self-employed consultants and volunteers. Similarly, those businesses or individuals providing goods and services are also urged to be prepared ahead of the new laws.

During the breakfast briefing the audience will hear from Law At Work’s Technical Director, Sharon Peacock, who has worked on employment law and discrimination matters in London and Paris. She has gained extensive experience advising Channel Island businesses on employment law matters and is currently working with clients to prepare for the new law.

She will be joined by Patricia Rowan from the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service and Malcolm Ferey from the Jersey Citizen’s Advice Bureau, who will be able to provide a perspective into the new law and what it means to Jersey businesses and employers. They will discuss ‘real-life’ case studies, community mediation and give an insight into the legislation which is still to come. During the briefing, attendees will also hear from a senior management liability underwriter from Rossborough’s insurance partner, AXA Insurance, who has firsthand knowledge of the types of issues faced in the UK which could arise locally.

Sharon Peacock, Technical Director at Law At Work said: “The actual legal definitions of discrimination are four-fold: direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment. The nuances vary but the key to understanding discrimination is to distinguish unfavourable treatment from less favourable treatment. If an employer treats any employee unfavourably, it will not be a discriminator. If it treats any employee less favourably, it will be. We have organised this event in partnership with Rossborough to address this very issue so that attendees can leave with a better understanding of the new law and how it will affect them. It is also our chance to team up with the experts from the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service, Jersey Citizen’s Advice Bureau and AXA Insurance, to provide a rounded insight through examples of what can go wrong and we are very grateful for their support.”

She continued: “We are not going to cover what is in the law because that has been done on numerous occasions already. Instead we will look at what employers and business owners need to do in practice; what will happen if an employment claim comes in; what will happen if a non-work related claim is made; and how can we all protect ourselves from liability. After all, no-one wants the notorious accolade of being the first to be prosecuted.”

Adam Wickens, Senior Management Liability Underwriter at AXA Insurance UK plc will represent Rossborough Insurance to explain what has happened in the UK, the types of claims and the amounts of compensation awarded in certain circumstances.

He will also advise on the types of cover available to businesses and individuals, he said: “AXA are delighted to be supporting Law at Work via our Management Liability Policy. With constantly changing employment legislation and significant and potentially financially catastrophic exposure that employers have, we feel that now more than ever the correct cover and advice is needed. Along with our partners we are making sure that employers can continue their day to day business without the constant worry of employment related issues. We have carefully selected our partners to make sure that the advice received is as comprehensive as our coverage.”

The event will take place at 8am on Thursday 17th July 2014 at The Royal Yacht Hotel, St Helier and pre-registration is essential.

Following the breakfast briefing Law At Work will run a seminar looking in more detail at the law and offering practical guidance and Rossborough Insurance in partnership with AXA will be offering health checks to any business owner or HR professional wishing to have their existing policy reviewed in light of the new law.

For further information or to register please contact John Lowery at Rossborough at jlowery@rossboroughgroup.co.uk or contact Helen Le Brun at Law At Work email admin@lawatworkci.com

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Category: Events

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