AB Werkt says ‘no’ to discrimination, and ‘yes’ to more diversity on the job market. Everyone is welcome on the job market, regardless of background, beliefs, age, gender, or pregnancy. We believe a diverse workforce offers opportunities and benefits. It creates added value and encourages creativity and inspiration. Those, in turn, impact positively on our clients and our own organization!
Interaction with, and raising awareness among our employees is important to us. In many cases, discrimination is unintentional, but is experienced as discrimination by more and more people. A growing number of people are turning to the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights because they feel they are being discriminated against. Most commonly, the discrimination is on the grounds of background, gender, age, handicap, or chronic illness. AB Werkt distances itself from this.
People’s thoughts are often guided by prejudices or assumptions. By the time we become aware that our assumptions are unfounded, the harm has often already been done. We have to become aware of how often our opinion is based on our own prejudices. Ask yourself: how accurate is my first impression of the other person? While it is not easy laying your prejudices openly on the table, in our heads we do this constantly. This can have unpleasant consequences, such as somebody being wrongly turned down for a job, without getting the opportunity to disprove the prejudice.
Unfortunately, discrimination – whether direct or indirect – occurs all too often in practice. AB Werkt believes it is important for employees to be aware of this. When is a request by your client discriminatory? How can you recognize this? How should you deal with a discriminatory enquiry from your client? How do we habitually respond in such situations?
It seems that talking about a subject is easier than actually dealing with discriminatory situations in practice: how should you deal with a request by a client to only place Polish employees in their own accommodation, where only Polish employees live, because it’s ‘easier’ that way? Or how should you respond if your colleague is discriminated against? And what should you do if a client only accepts employees from a particular country, because they have had good experiences of them over many years? Or would rather take on somebody young, on the grounds they will be ‘sick’ less frequently? Or would rather not take on young women because of the risk of having to ‘do without them’ for an extended period if they fall pregnant?
Tricky, particularly with the job market being as tight as it is.
It is our intention to transform discrimination into diversity. We have space for everyone. Discrimination is about unequal treatment and is prohibited by Article 1 of the Constitution. Sometimes it is blatantly obvious, other times less so. Which job requirements can I specify, and which not? Of course, we always want to sell ‘yes’ to our clients. But AB Werkt says ‘no’ to discrimination.
Discrimination on the basis of any of the above grounds is ‘direct.’ The intention behind indirect discrimination appears more innocent, but it may cause just as much pain or discomfort to the person on the receiving end of it. For example: An employer asks in a job advert for applicants with an ‘excellent’ command of Dutch. Generally speaking, employees of non-Dutch origin will struggle more to fulfil this requirement. Indirectly, they feel they are in a worse position due to the stringent language requirement.
If you encounter discrimination at work, then please contact your AB Werkt contact person. The confidential adviser can also assist you: find more information about the adviser here.
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