Everyone has the right to be who they are. No one should be forced to hide their family members or their identity, and no one should fear being insulted, humiliated or threatened. Harassment is the violation of a person’s dignity and the creation of an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment (subsection 3 (3) of the Equal Treatment Act). Examples of harassment include an employer forbidding an employee from talking about having a disabled child or being gay (for example, when talking about their partner), as well as bullying or belittling another person. Employers must not demand that employees to conceal their private lives in the workplace.
It’s the employer’s responsibility to provide a suitable working environment. The most important benefit of an open working environment is higher productivity. When an employee sees that they and their work are valued, they will work with commitment and produce good results. More people with different backgrounds apply for jobs offered by employers who are known to have a working environment where diversity and the rights of employees are respected. Employees with diverse experiences, qualities and backgrounds bring new and different ideas and innovative solutions to the organisation.
Noticing consumers and customers who have different needs and requests helps to reach more people with one’s services or products. If an organisation is socially responsible and has a caring, open and accepting atmosphere for a diverse workforce, its reputation among customers, employees and competitors will improve. Many people want to work for an employer who values diversity.
This explanation does not constitute legal aid in a specific case. Therefore, if you feel that you have been treated unequally, but you did not find a solution to your problem in this article, or if you have a question, please contact the Equality Commissioner by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +372 626 9059. The anonymity of the person is guaranteed when contacting the Commissioner.