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Employment Law in Jersey

Jersey (formally the Bailiwick of Jersey) is a Crown dependency of the United Kingdom (though not itself part of the UK). It is self-governing and has its own independent legislature (the States Assembly), government, and legal and judicial systems. The UK is largely responsible for Jersey’s international representation and Jersey is included in many international conventions to which the UK is a party, including those on human rights. Jersey is part of a Common Travel Area with the UK, Ireland and other Crown dependencies (Guernsey and Isle of Man), with few immigration controls between these territories.

The main item of employment legislation is the Employment (Jersey) Law 2003 which notably deals with written statements of terms of employment, rest breaks/periods, annual leave, flexible working, rights related to pregnancy and breastfeeding, parental leave, the minimum wage, payment of wages, notice periods, redundancy rights and unfair dismissal. The Employment Law does not apply to certain domestic workers and workers in family businesses. It applies to both employees with employment contracts and to individuals in a contractual relationship similar to employment. The other main employment-specific laws are the Employment Relations (Jersey) Law 2007 (covering trade unions, employers’ associations and collective employment disputes) and the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989. Other relevant laws include the:

  • Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013

  • Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 2012

  • Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018

  • Social Security (Jersey) Law 1974

  • Human Rights (Jersey) Law 2000

  • Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) (Jersey) Law 1973

  • Employment Agencies (Registration) (Jersey) Law 1969

  • Public Holidays and Bank Holidays (Jersey) Act 2010

  • Rehabilitation of Offenders (Jersey) Law 2001.

Governmental Regulations and Orders govern the implementation of certain aspects of the laws mentioned above. Officially approved codes of practice play an important part in areas such as industrial relations (including trade union recognition), disciplinary and grievance procedures, and health and safety: while these codes are not legally binding, their provisions are taken into account in proceedings over relevant matters in a court or the Employment and Discrimination Tribunal. The other main sources of employment law are common/customary law, case law (especially that of English courts), employment contracts and collective agreements.

Jersey employment legislation is unusual in that it does not regulate a number of areas that are governed by statute in many other European jurisdictions. These notably include working time, sick pay/leave, fixed-term and part-time employment, transfers of undertakings, and employee information and consultation. This reflects in part the fact that Jersey is not, and never has been, part of the European Union.

Employment Law in Jersey: Quick Facts
  • Employers’ freedom to recruit is restrained by statutory rules on employment and residential status: while they can recruit as many individuals with “entitled” or “entitled for work” status as they wish (ie people who have lived in Jersey for at least five years), they require official permission to employ other people. Recruitment and Selection

  • Within four weeks after an employee starts employment, the employer must give them a written statement of the terms of their employment, covering specified matters. Employment Contracts

  • There are no statutory restrictions on the duration or renewal of fixed-term contracts or on the circumstances in which they may be used. Employment Contracts

  • Wages must be paid into a bank account or by cheque, postal order or money order, generally at regular intervals of not more than one month, accompanied by a written itemised pay statement. Pay and Benefits

  • There is a statutory minimum wage that applies to almost all employees over compulsory school age. Pay and Benefits

  • For employees aged 16 and above, legislation places no explicit limits on normal or total working hours, or on overtime work, and there is no special regulation of night work and no statutory wage supplements for working overtime or at night. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Employees are entitled to apply to their employer for a change in the duration and organisation of their working time and/or in their place of work, and employers can refuse such applications only for certain reasons. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Employees are entitled to an uninterrupted rest break of at least 20 minutes in each continuous period of at least six hours’ work, and an uninterrupted weekly rest period of at least 24 hours. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Employees are entitled to at least three weeks of paid annual leave, during which they are paid their normal wages. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • All employees who are parents are entitled to 52 weeks of parental leave in respect of their child (there is no specific statutory maternity leave): six weeks of the leave are paid by the employer and employees may be entitled to a social security benefit during part of the leave. Parenthood and Work-life Balance

  • Employees are entitled to paid time off during working hours to attend antenatal appointments, and employees who are breastfeeding are entitled to request a variation in the hours, times and/or place that they work for this purpose. Parenthood and Work-life Balance

  • Employees have no statutory entitlement to sick leave or to sick pay from their employer. Parenthood and Work-life Balance

  • Employers must not discriminate in relation to employment on grounds of the protected characteristics of race, sex, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age or disability. Equality and Discrimination

  • Harassment based on the protected characteristics constitutes unlawful discrimination, as does sexual harassment. Equality and Discrimination

  • In certain circumstances, employers can be required to recognise trade unions for collective bargaining purposes. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights

  • Once a trade union is recognised, the collective bargaining process is left to the parties to decide but there is a statutory mechanism for resolving collective employment disputes relating to various matters potentially subject to bargaining. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights

  • Employers have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees and must comply with various specific health and safety obligations, while employees have certain duties in this area. Occupational Health and Safety

  • Employees have the right not to be unfairly dismissed and the employer must have a fair reason for dismissal — these mainly relate to the employee’s capability/qualifications, conduct, redundancy or retirement — and follow a fair procedure. Termination of Employment

  • In most cases, employees must have at least one year’s service in order to bring a claim that their dismissal is unfair, but there is a range of reasons for dismissal that are “automatically” unfair and employees dismissed on these grounds may claim unfair dismissal without any qualifying period of service. Termination of Employment

  • In dismissing an employee, employers must normally observe a statutory minimum notice period: however, an employer may dismiss an employee without notice by reason of the employee’s misconduct. Termination of Employment

  • If the Employment and Discrimination Tribunal finds a dismissal to be unfair, it will, if the complainant so wishes, consider ordering their reinstatement or re-engagement; if no such order is made, the Tribunal will award compensation. Termination of Employment

  • There is no specific statutory regulation of employees’ position when the business they work in is transferred from one owner to another, and their employment contracts are not transferred automatically to the new owner. Other Key Issues

  • Where an employer requires or requests an employee to attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing, the employee has a right to be represented at the hearing by a representative of their choosing who is a trade union official or a fellow employee. Other Key Issues