Europe asked to combat discrimination in employment

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe has issued a new General Policy Recommendation asking the Council of Europe’s member States to stop racism and racial discrimination in employment.

ECRI says that harassment, victimisation and segregation are still found in Europe, with some workers facing “multiple discrimination” on different grounds at the same time, such as “race”, gender and religion.

Governments need to launch national plans promoting equality and preventing discrimination in employment, in both the public and private sector, says ECRI.

The guidelines also urge governments to enact and apply laws which afford genuine protection against direct and indirect discrimination. Workers who complain of racial discrimination or racial harassment should also be protected against dismissal or other retaliatory action.

Tax or insurance reductions for employers with a multicultural workforce, funding for training, recognition awards or certificates are some of the incentives that governments should adopt to encourage employers to combat discrimination in employment.

“Promotion of non discrimination is a good marketing tool for employers” says ECRI, on the contrary “a reputation for discrimination could have a negative impact on company’s profitability”.

“Eliminating racial discrimination and providing equality of access to employment and to promotion can result in the creation of a diverse workforce which offers an unlimited pool of talent,” states ECRI. “An inclusive working environment which promotes diversity is of benefit to employers and employees and the whole of society.”

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