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Fair treatment at work

Employers are legally required to treat their employees in an impartial and equitable manner. The ban on discrimination also includes hiring.

What is discrimination at work?

Employers are not allowed to disadvantage any employee in relation to others without justification. This means that you may not suffer discrimination, for example on the following grounds:

  • sex,
  • sexual orientation
  • family relationships
  • health or disability
  • citizenship or ethnic extraction
  • language
  • religion
  • opinion
  • trade union activity or
  • political activity

It is also discrimination to foster a hostile environment or encourage others to discriminate.

What should I do if I suffer bullying or discrimination at work?

Inform the employer of any bullying immediately. The employer has a legal duty to tackle bullying at the earliest opportunity.

Tell the person bullying you that you are unhappy with the person's actions or speech. Ask the person to stop bullying you. Your supervisor, local shop steward, elected safety representative or trade union can help if you are afraid to talk to the person bullying you, or if talking does not help. You may also seek help from the employer’s occupational health service or from the Occupational Safety and Health Authority.


Text edited by: Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions – SAK, Confederation of Finnish Industries – EK, Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland – Akava, Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees – STTK, KT Local Government Employers, Labour Market Organisation of the Church – KiT, Office for the Government as Employer – VTML
Updated: 12/11/2018