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Yhdenvertaisuus ja tasa-arvo työelämässä

Equality and equal opportunities in working life

According to Finnish law, all employees must be treated equally. No one must be discriminated against in recruitment or at the workplace.

Equality (yhdenvertaisuus) means that all people are equal regardless of their sex, age, ethnic or national origin, nationality, language, religion or beliefs, opinion, disability, health, sexual orientation or any other circumstance connected to the person.

Issues on equality in working life are enacted in the Equality Act and Employment Contracts Act. They state that employees must be treated equally as regards employment, working conditions, conditions of employment, staff training and career advancement.

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Equality and non-discrimination in the workplace

Equality in recruitment

The Equality Act (yhdenvertaisuuslaki) provides that job seekers are treated equally. An employer shall choose the most distinguished applicant for the task. The employer must also be able to prove that the choice is justified on acceptable grounds related to the nature of the work and that the choice was not made on discriminatory bases. Qualities that are not necessary for the performance of the tasks must not be required of job seekers.

Equality in the workplace

An employer shall not discriminate against employees when making decisions about the distribution of tasks, offering advancement opportunities or terminating a contract of employment. For example, it is illegal to pay a lower salary because the employee is a foreigner.

Discrimination at work is a crime. If you suspect that you have been the object of discrimination at work, you can contact the occupational safety and health authorities, the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman or your own trade union.

In problem situations, you can ask a safety officer or shop steward at your workplace for advice.

Equality (tasa-arvo) between men and women

According to Finnish law, men and women are equal. Men and women must be treated equally in employment, working conditions and remuneration. An employee must not be set in an unequal position in working life due to pregnancy or parenthood. An employee does not have the right to refuse work assignments on the basis of their gender.

The Finnish Act on Equality between Women and Men stipulates that an employer shall supervise that sexual equality is realised and that nobody is discriminated against at the workplace. An Equality Ombudsman monitors that the Act on Equality between Women and Men is observed. If you suspect that your employer has discriminated against you because of your sex, you can ask an Equality Ombudsman for advice and guidance and help in solving the issue.