An employer refuses to employ people of foreign origin, claiming that the customers don’t want foreigners; someone is unfairly dismissed following a work accident; an employer puts a stop to a hiring procedure when they find out the applicant is deaf; a worker is the subject of repeated jokes regarding his presumed homosexuality, etc.
Discrimination in employment can occur during a recruitment procedure, while under contract or at the end of it. It can be intentional, with the deliberate aim of discriminating against someone or harming them (direct discrimination) or it can be subconscious. It can also be the indirect consequence of various decisions or procedures (indirect discrimination).
Harassment or intimidation, as well as the refusal to implement reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities are also forbidden by the Anti-discrimination Law.
What does Unia do?
Unia combats discrimination in employment based on all the criteria for which it is competent, by:
- advising and supporting discriminated persons;
- establishing reports and studies, including: Socioeconomic Monitoring and the Diversity Barometer: Employment;
- by informing employers of anti-discrimination legislation (especially through eDiv online training), reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities, methods of managing religious diversity, etc.;
- providing the authorities concerned with recommendations;
- consulting with the sector, public authorities and associations.
Victim or witness
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Recent articles Employment
More employment discrimination cases reported to Unia in 2017
Last year Unia opened a total of 2,017 cases of situations where people felt they were the subject of discrimination. This represents a 6% increase over 2016 (1,907 cases). Instances of employment discrimination were the most frequently opened cases at Unia.
Court describes effects of cancer as disability for the first time
An employer should have made adaptations to enable a woman who was unable to work for a long time due to cancer to continue doing her job, according to a ruling by the Brussels Labour Court. This is the first time that a court has recognised the lasting effects of cancer as a disability. The judge ordered the employer to pay 12,500 euros in compensation to the employee for discrimination. Unia acted as intervener in the case.
Recent publications Employment
Evaluation of federal anti-discrimination legislation (2017)
Article 52 of the Anti-Discrimination Law states that the application and effectiveness of the anti-discrimination laws must be assessed by the Legislative Chambers. Unia has prepared an assessment report on the Anti-Discrimination Law and the Anti-Racism Law based on its own practical experience, national jurisprudence and its general expertise in the fight against discrimination.
Annual report 2015. Living together put to the test.
The year 2015 left a deep mark on our society. Violent conflicts and tensions on a global scale have had a direct impact on us. As we finalise this annual report, Belgium is suffering the repercussions of the bomb attacks at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station in Brussels.