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Equality and equity

Ryhmä ihmisiä, tasa-arvo, yhdenvertaisuus, moninaisuus, yhteistyö

Equality and equity

Promoting equality in the workplace is everyone's responsibility. Everyone has the right to work without harassment or discrimination. Fair treatment increases motivation, well-being and commitment to work. In turn, it also improves performance.
Ryhmä ihmisiä, kädet, palapeli tasa-arvo, yhdenvertaisuus, moninaisuus, yhteistyö
No discrimination in the workplace
Ryhmä ihmisiä, kädet, palapeli tasa-arvo, yhdenvertaisuus, moninaisuus, yhteistyö

In working life, discrimination and harassment are prohibited under the Equality Act on the grounds of sex, gender identity or gender expression and under the Equality Act on the grounds of age, origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, political activity, trade union activity, family relations, state of health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal grounds.

Equality also means equal value for both sexes: equal pay for equal work and work of equal value, equal career progression, equal opportunities to combine work and parenthood. Equality also includes freedom from sexual harassment and harassment.

Under the Equality Act, employers may not discriminate on the grounds of sex or gender in recruitment, selection for a post or training, remuneration or conditions of employment, management, allocation of tasks or other organisation of working conditions, and dismissal, termination, termination, transfer or lay-off.

Discrimination is also prohibited when it is based on gender identity or gender expression.

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Employers must promote equal career progression for women and men
Kuva: Shutterstock

Every employer has a duty to promote equality in the workplace and, to this end, must act to ensure that both men and women are recruited for vacant posts. The employer must also promote equal opportunities for men and women in different positions.

An employer is guilty of discrimination if he or she manages work, assigns tasks or otherwise organises working conditions in such a way that the employee is placed at a clear disadvantage compared to a person of the opposite sex. Managing work includes, for example, controlling the use of working time and work, organising work premises, allocating work equipment, developing an employee's tasks and skills.

In recruitment and internal transfers, candidates must be subject to a merit review. The selection criteria established in advance by the employer play a key role in the merit review. The law does not restrict the employer's right to choose the person he considers best for each post. However, the employer may not make an unjustified choice on the basis of sex.

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Equal pay for equal work
Kuva: Shutterstock

According to the principle of equal pay in the Equality Act, employers must pay equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, regardless of gender. According to the Equality Act, equal pay must be achieved between employees working for the same employer. If the employer has different work or operational units, the employee can also compare his or her pay with that of employees working in another unit.

If there is no accepted justification for the difference in pay, the employer is guilty of discrimination. However, equal pay does not mean equal pay. Acceptable grounds for differential pay include demonstrable differences in the quality and quantity of the staff members' work.

The starting point for assessing whether work is equal or of equal value is the job and the demands it makes on the person performing it. The assessment should be based on the actual tasks performed by the employee, not, for example, on job titles as such or on job descriptions agreed in the contract of employment if these differ from the actual tasks.

There are many ways of assigning equal value to different jobs. A pay system based on the job requirements of a collective agreement is considered to be a commonly agreed and accepted system that indicates the relative order of job requirements. Tasks of the same level of responsibility are considered to be of equal value to each other. It is also possible, in principle, to compare the equivalence of tasks covered by different collective agreements.

Each pay component must be individually non-discriminatory. In addition to the regular monthly or hourly wage, pay includes, inter alia, personal allowances, allowances and bonuses for different working time arrangements, severance pay under collective agreements, severance pay, sick pay, pay for paid training time, credit and purchase benefits or similar benefits in kind. Supplementary pensions may also constitute pay.

The comparator, i.e. the employee to whom the employee compares his/her salary, should normally be of the opposite sex. This means that a woman can compare her salary with a man's salary and vice versa. However, the comparator may be of the same sex if the difference in pay is due to pregnancy, childbirth, parenthood or family responsibilities, for example, if a pregnant woman is placed at a disadvantage compared with a non-pregnant woman. The comparator may be a member of staff who works for the company at the same time or consecutively.

#samakiitos are due to all for the same work of equal value, regardless of gender

If pay is not discussed, discrimination remains hidden. Talking about pay and pay awareness reduces pay discrimination. Talking about your own pay is right and worthwhile, but only the employer benefits from silence.  Find out more about pay discrimination and how to prevent it on our Samakiitos campaign page  (in Finnish).

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Family leave should not be a barrier to career and salary progression
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Employers should facilitate the reconciliation of work and family life through work arrangements. Employees' needs for time off and flexible working hours vary according to their life stages. Arrangements should also facilitate the care of an elderly, sick or disabled relative.

Annual leave arrangements and the use of rotational leave schemes can help reconcile work and family life. Other family-friendly working arrangements can also be agreed at the workplace. These can include reduced and flexible working hours, working time banks and teleworking opportunities. For example, an employer can arrange childcare for a sick child as an alternative to the parent staying at home to look after the sick child.

Family leave can be taken by both fathers and mothers. As a general rule, the right to use family leave is unconditional. Collective agreements provide for the right to paid time off from work in the event of sudden illness in the family; men should also exercise this right.

After family leave, there is a right to return to the job previously held. If no such job is available, other equivalent work must be offered.

The use of family leave must not be an obstacle to career and salary progression. A person returning from leave shall be entitled to any improvement in working conditions to which he or she would have been entitled during his or her absence. If necessary, the person returning from family leave must be familiarised with the changed working methods and tasks.

Pro-viikkojen kuvituskuva
For an equal working life
Pro-viikkojen kuvituskuva

Promoting equality and equal opportunities in working life is part of Pro's advocacy work. We aim to promote equal pay by, among other things, supporting equality planning in the workplace and encouraging employers to introduce gender-neutral pay systems. Trade Union Pro is committed to working free from harassment and discrimination. We also support workplaces to draw up their own guidelines. We also train staff and employer representatives on equality and non-discrimination issues. We also help our members with discrimination issues.

Guide to working life

Answers to many questions about working life.