Employers good practice guide

Employers gain advice on employment and disability

A new guide for local businesses, providing advice on employment and disability, has been launched in Jersey.  The 'Good Practice Guide' is the initiative of the Jersey Employment Trust (JET) and is a first for Jersey, created in the absence of the much-awaited anti-discrimination law and developed in partnership with the States of Jersey.

It was borne out of the JET 'Able to Work' conference, which took place in November 2011 and was sponsored by State Street. At the conference, employers, agencies and people with a disability or long-term health condition came together and, through a series of workshops, provided suggestions, ideas and case studies of good practice in Jersey.

In the UK there are more than 6.7 million people with disabilities, of working age, representing 18% of the population. Applying these figures to Jersey, based on the 2011 census, it is estimated that there are more than 11,500 people with a disability or long-term health condition, of working age. The guide will be used as a reference document for employers who wish to maximise the potential of people with a disability who are, in essence, an untapped workforce and have a huge range of potential.  It is also intended to be a practical and informative document for employers, so that they meet the future requirements of the anti-discrimination laws in Jersey, before they come into force.

The guide will answer the frequent questions that employers have when employing people with a disability and also with retaining current employees, who may have a disability or long-term health condition.  Sections included in the guide are; recruitment and selection, induction and initial training, policies and practices, disability etiquette and also contact details for advice and support. The guide has been endorsed by Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service, Jersey Community Relations Trust as well as the States of Jersey.

Jersey's Chief Minister, Ian Gorst said "I am absolutely committed to promoting equality and inclusion in the workplace, and to supporting people with disabilities.  The values of equity and fairness are at the heart of our public sector reform agenda.  I commend the Jersey Employment Trust for producing this sensitive and timely guide and I am confident that this will mark a real change in the way we include people with different abilities."

The guide has now been published and has been launched at a lunchtime event on Tuesday 17th July 2012 at the Pomme d'Or Hotel.  Present at the event, which was sponsored by State Street, was the Chief Minister - Ian Gorst, Director of HR for the States of Jersey - Mark Sinclair and many other employers in Jersey, some of whom have assisted with drafting the guide.  There was also further representation from JET service users, agencies and States members at the event.  JET will be providing direct training to employers on the guide, so that they are more confident in employing people with a disability in the workplace and gain benefits from having a more diverse workforce.