Equality and non-discrimination

A good work community promotes equality and non-discrimination. The Non-Discrimination Act prohibits work discrimination and obligates employers to promote equality at the workplace.

Promoting equality is a matter that concerns every employer. The employer must develop equal working conditions and operating methods when selecting staff members and making decisions concerning staff. Every employer with more than 30 employees must have a non-discrimination plan in place.

The Finnish Act on Equality Between Men and Women prohibits gender-based discrimination. The act also promotes equality between women and men and improves the status of women – especially in working life. The Equality Act also prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.

Work discrimination

The employer must not discriminate against anyone at the workplace based on age, origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, political activity, trade union activity, family relationships, state of health, disability, sexual orientation or other reasons linked to a person.

Discrimination may also be based on an assumption concerning the person him/herself or a person close to him/her. In addition to direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, denial of reasonable accommodation as well as an instruction or order to discriminate constitute discrimination.

Discrimination is prohibited, regardless of whether it is based on a fact or assumption concerning the person him/herself or another. An employee who brings up deficiencies related to workplace equality must not suffer adverse consequences.

If you believe you are the target of discrimination:

  1. Ask your employer to look into the matter. Discuss the issue that you consider to be discriminatory and request a written account of the matter.
  2. Discuss the matter also with the OHS representative or your workplace’s shop steward.
  3. If you feel you have been discriminated against on unlawful grounds, you can contact your regional state administrative agency.

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