Direct discrimination means that someone is treated less favourably in a certain situation on the basis of, for example, their gender, age, nationality, skin colour, beliefs, sexual orientation, disability or religion (clause 3 (1) 3) of the Gender Equality Act and subsection 3 (2) of the Equal Treatment Act). But what does indirect unequal treatment mean and where can we notice it?
Indirect unequal treatment is more difficult to detect than direct unequal treatment, because in the case of indirect unequal treatment a person or a group of people is placed at a disadvantage compared to others due to a seemingly neutral and normal practice, situation, criterion or legal provision (clause 3 (1) 4) of the Gender Equality Act and subsection 3 (4) of the Equal Treatment Act).
In simplified terms, indirect discrimination means that the less favourable treatment does not take place directly – for example, a derogatory comment from an employer about an employee – but takes place indirectly, for example through a work-related claim. The claim may state that promotion requires long-term uninterrupted employment, which seems to be a normal and self-evident criterion, but in fact constitutes indirect unequal treatment between men and women who wish to become parents and take parental leave at some point.
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.