Politicians in Alderney are trying to get a new minimum wage law over the line, amid a host of changes aimed at drastically improving employees' rights.
The States of Alderney is planning to bring in a minimum wage that matches Guernsey's - £8.50 for adults and £8.05 for 16 and 17-year-olds.
The island's Policy & Finance Committee is also looking to have a worker's right to an employment contract enshrined in law.
Proposals for a minimum wage are more advanced at this point, although Alderney's civil service still has barriers to overcome and will seek policy support from Guernsey to help them do so.
“Adopting a minimum wage for Alderney is long overdue,” said P&F Chairman James Dent. “However, the question of enforcement and how an employee can bring a claim has proved to be something of a stumbling block. In the absence of a tribunal and the prohibitive costs of court action, we have to find an alternative solution.”
Minimum wage a step closer for Alderney workers— States of Alderney (@States_Alderney) January 29, 2020
Alderney will mirror Guernsey's minimum wage - currently £8.50 for adults - when new legislation comes into force.https://t.co/ixckgYq08Y
P&F has asked its officers to draw up proposals for a new Employment Law, based on Guernsey’s, and will then invite public opinion before a debate in the States.
If agreed, this will give all workers on the island the right to have an employment contract, which they currently do not have.
“The right to a contract is a basic human right. Alderney has for too long had no employment law," said Mr Dent. "We want those who choose to come and live here to feel that they have the same legal protections as they would have elsewhere in the world.”
P&F has emphasised that an Industrial Disputes Tribunal system could be too expensive and cumbersome for the island. The Committee has invited law officers and a senior employment relations officer to visit Alderney to discuss how disputes can best be resolved under a new law.
Pictured top: Alderney High Street and James Dent.
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