The consultation on a comprehensive Equality Bill has been supplemented by options for consequential changes to the Island’s system of statutory redundancy payments.
The proposed Bill prohibits discrimination, in employment and in the provision of goods and services, on the grounds of specified characteristics including age, disability, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation.
One of the effects of the legislation will be to end the age restriction on entitlement to redundancy pay, which is currently 65 or lower depending on the normal retirement age for the employment in question. (A ‘normal retirement age’ is generally not permissible under the Bill, which makes it unlawful to retire a worker solely on the grounds of their age).
In addition to this, the consultation on the Bill already seeks views on an enabling power to discontinue the redundancy payment rebates paid by Government to smaller employers.
To prevent redundancy payments from becoming unduly onerous on employers, the supplementary consultation introduces a number of possible options, including imposing a cap on statutory redundancy payments, as is the case in the United Kingdom, along with consequential changes to the calculation of the basic award for unfair dismissal.
The main consultation on the Equality Bill began on August 11 and closes on Friday November 14 November, as does the supplementary consultation on redundancy payments.
Both documents can be found on the consultation section of the Government website http://www.gov.im/ConsultationDetail.gov?id=454