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The provisions on equality observed in working are laid down in the Non-Discrimination Act and the legislation on employment relationships. In addition, the Act on Equality between Women and Men (the Equality Act) issues provisions on gender equality.
The Non-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, ethnic or national origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics. Both direct and indirect discrimination is prohibited, and so is harassment and an instruction or order to discriminate.
According to the Employment Contracts Act, employers must treat their employees equally. Equal treatment must also be taken into consideration when granting employees benefits based on the employment relationship as well as when assigning tasks to them. Deviation from the requirement of equal treatment can only take place if there is an acceptable cause deriving from the duties and position of the employees.
The Employment Contracts Act also prohibits any unjustified discrimination against employees on the basis of age, health, disability, national or ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, language, religion, opinion, belief, family ties, trade union activity, political activity or any other comparable circumstance. The obligation for equal treatment and the prohibition on discrimination is applied to recruitment, during the employment and on termination of the employment relationship. Discrimination when providing information on vacancies, selecting employees and during the employment relationship is punishable as employment discrimination.
The Occupational Health and Safety Authorities monitor compliance with the Non-Discrimination Act and labour legislation, and the Ombudsman for Equality supervises compliance with the Equality Act.