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As you will be aware, two years ago the States of Jersey passed the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013. This law covers a number of protected characteristics - race; sex; age and disability. These are being introduced in a phased approach. It is planned that the characteristic "Disability" will be introduced in 2018. The introduction of this legislation will bring with it a number of considerations and challenges for the hospitality industry. The law is expected to protect patrons with a disability against discrimination, including those who are accompanied by an assistance dog.

It has recently come to our attention that some persons with assistance dogs have been refused entry to a number of eating and drinking establishments on the island due to the fact that they were accompanied by a guide dog. The reasons given for refusal of entry vary, but the common theme appears to be that a policy on assistance dogs is either not in place, or not readily known amonst all frontline staff.

In more general terms, it appears to be the case that disability policies and awareness training has either not been carried out, or has not had a lasting impact on personel. One clear example of this is that a visually impaired individual was unable to make a reservation at a restaurant as they were unable to read out their card details over the phone. No alternative means of booking was made available to accommodate these differing needs.

As an island, the JHA believes we should be striving to be a place that promotes accessability, tolerance and understanding. Such attituudes will not only benefit local patrons, but also visitors to Jersey.

If you would like any support in this respect you can contact States of Jersey policy officer Anna Hamon, she can be contacted on 440682 or at JHA members can also take advantage of free discrimination training available from JACS -

Please support us by taking on board the need to be supportive to patrons with assistance dogs.