On 27 November 2013, the States of Guernsey approved recommendations of the Policy Council aimed at improving the rights of disabled people in Guernsey. The main recommendations insofar as they are likely to affect Guernsey employers are:
- To develop legislation for the prevention of discrimination against disabled people and their carers;
- To extend the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities to Guernsey;
- To remove barriers that prevent disabled people accessing employment (known as making “reasonable adjustments”). Such adjustments might be to the physical environment (such as access ramps), or the work station (such as adapted keyboard) or to the system of work (such as reduced or flexible hours);
- To develop a test for whether or not an adjustment is reasonable, to cover such matters as the employer’s financial resources, type and size, the practicality of the change and whether the change will resolve the problem;
- To establish a “Reasonable Adjustments Fund” to help small businesses make adjustments that would not otherwise be considered reasonable;
- To establish an Equality and Rights Organisation, the functions of which would include the administration of the Reasonable Adjustments Fund and the provision of specialist information, education and advice to businesses. This recommendation is subject to obtaining funding. In the meantime, a framework is to be developed using existing resources;
- To develop further the concept of a Guernsey Employment Trust to investigate voluntary and public sector supported employment services for disabled people and improve engagement with employers;
- To improve information provision for disabled people, carers, employers, providers of goods and services, and to the general public.
It is proposed that the disability discrimination legislation envisaged in the recommendations will be introduced within a three year timeframe in consultation with interested stakeholders.