Get started with the statutory gender equality work
The Gender Equality and Discrimination Act requires businesses to work to promote gender equality and prevent discrimination. Public enterprises and private enterprises with more than 50 employees are required to follow a specific working method and to report on the work. Businesses that have not adapted to the rules should start implementing the necessary guidelines and procedures as soon as possible.
Every employer has a duty to work actively, purposefully and systematically to promote equality and prevent discrimination in the business. In 2020, all public enterprises and private enterprises with more than 50 employees were subject to stricter rules for work on gender equality and diversity. The businesses covered by the rules must follow a specific working method and account for the work in the annual report or on the business’s website. The board is given the responsibility to ensure that the business complies with its obligations.
The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Commissioner supervises compliance with the regulations, and may, in the event of non-compliance, appeal the matter to the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. The Anti-Discrimination Tribunal has decision-making competence and can order businesses to stop or rectify discriminatory conditions, as well as impose a coercive fine in the event of a breach of the regulations.
2 Briefly about the requirements
The statutory working method consists of four steps. The businesses shall continuously and in collaboration with the employee representatives:
- investigate whether there is a risk of discrimination in the business,
- analyse the causes of identified risks,
- implement appropriate measures, and
- evaluate the results of the work.
The businesses must document the work that is being done. The employees and their representatives, the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Commissioner and researchers, may, on more detailed terms, demand access to the documentation.
The businesses must also report on the work on an annual basis. Every year, it must be reported on what the business has done to fulfil the activity obligation. In addition, the following factors related to gender equality in the business must be reported each year:
- The total gender distribution in the business
- Gender distribution among temporary employees
- The extent of taking parental leave for women and men
In addition to this, the wage equality in the business must be reported every two years, including:
- Wage difference between women and men regardless of position
- Wage differences between women and men at position level
- Use of involuntary part-time by gender
3 Get started
Many businesses will report on pay equality for the first time in 2022. In order to be able to report sufficiently well - and for employees to have the opportunity to compare their pay with the average pay for their position level - businesses must extract salary data and define position levels. Many businesses will probably find the mapping demanding at first implementation.
If you do not have a well-functioning framework in place, both in terms of routines and systems, there is a risk that the work will be unnecessarily resource-intensive. We therefore recommend businesses that have not adapted to the rules to start work on implementing the necessary guidelines and procedures as soon as possible.
We have extensive experience with equal treatment and discrimination cases and assist our clients in complying with the rules in the area. Feel free to contact us if you want more information about how your business can meet the new requirements.