Equality and non-discrimination in the workplace
Your company must treat its employees equally in all areas of working life. Pay attention to preventing both direct and indirect discrimination.
All companies have a statutory obligation to promote equality for all employees and prevent discrimination in recruitment, employment and workplaces. In addition to the Non-Discrimination Act, there are obligations related to equality in the Act on Equality between Women and Men, the Employment Contracts Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Your company benefits from the promotion of equality most when the promotion measures are part of workplace and business development and an area of management. By taking into consideration and valuing the diversity of your employees, you can improve wellbeing at work and the productivity of work. You can also improve customer satisfaction by taking into account the different needs of customers.
More information and tools for the promotion of equality and non-discrimination are available on the Equality.fi website.
Equality does not mean that everyone is treated in the same way because people’s different backgrounds may put them into an unequal position. Assess how equality really is realised in your company and develop the working conditions and operating practices based on your assessment.
When you recruit new employees, you must not require a certain age or gender unless there is a justified reason for it. Always choose the most qualified and appropriate applicant for the job. If possible, also employ persons for whom it is difficult to find work, such as older applicants or people with disabilities. Make sure that your company always pays the same wages for the same work.
When planning work, pay special attention to the needs of employees who are at risk of discrimination. Provide your employees with equal opportunities to develop in their work and progress in their career. Assess your employees’ performance in their work equally and fairly. Encourage your employees to treat their colleagues equally.
If your company regularly employs more than 30 people, you must draw up a plan of the measures you can take to promote equality in your company.
No one may be discriminated because of reasons related to their characteristics.
Discrimination may be
- direct: the person is, has been or would be treated less favourably than someone else in a similar situation.
- indirect: a regulation, criterion or practice that looks equal leads to a situation in which a person is in an especially unfavourable position compared to others.
Remember that taking into account special needs does not automatically mean that you are discriminating the others.
Make sure that all kinds of people can work in your company and use its services without discrimination. Point this out also to your employees.
Wish people of all ages and speaking any language welcome to your company. Do not discriminate anyone based on their gender, ethnic background, family relations, state of health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics.
Give everyone the right to their religion, conviction and opinions. Do not let anyone's participation in political or trade union activity to affect how the person is treated.
Also make sure that your employee’s or customer’s social status or wealth does not cause discrimination.