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How should you follow the principle of equal treatment in promotion?

The same principles apply to promotion as to recruitment. If there is a competent suitable applicant in the company, the job may be filled by way of promotion.

The employer must define the knowledge, skills, experience and personal qualities that are required to perform the job successfully. The applicants must be then assessed on the basis of their qualifications (education, professional skills, language skills) and the personal qualities required for the job (e.g. decision-making ability, stress tolerance, reliability, ability to work in a team, leadership), as well as their previous work experience and performance. In order to select the most suitable applicant from amongst several applicants, the employer must assess the correspondence of the knowledge, skills, abilities and personal qualities of the applicants to the job requirements.

It’s important for employers to find the best person for each job and position. Promotion on the basis of indicators or criteria that are not related to the job will not provide the employer with the most suitable employee for the job. Employees, however, may get the impression that some of them cannot get a higher-ranked job or better working conditions because of their gender or ethnic background.

Under the principle of equal treatment, employees must be treated equally in the case of promotions. This means that in the case of promotion, it is prohibited to overlook employees or treat them less favourably because of their gender, nationality (ethnic background), skin colour, religion or beliefs, age, disability or sexual orientation (subsection 6 (1) of the Gender Equality Act; subsection 3 (1) of the Equal Treatment Act).

Equal treatment also means that all employees must have access to information on job vacancies, application opportunities, qualifications and the required personal qualities. The rules for promotion, selection criteria and opportunities for changing jobs must be the same for all employees.

Clause 2 (2) 1); subsection 3 (1) of the Equal Treatment Act
Subsection 6 (1) of the Gender Equality Act

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 avaldus@volinik.ee or telephone +372 626 9059. The anonymity of the person is guaranteed when contacting the Commissioner.