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Finland: Equal opportunities

Original and updating author: Teea Kemppinen, Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd

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  • The law explicitly prohibits employers from exercising any form of unjustified discrimination in relation to employment on various grounds. (See General)
  • Discrimination based on any of the protected characteristics may be deemed justified, if there are "weighty and acceptable" reasons for such discrimination. (See Exemptions)
  • Harassment, sexual harassment and harassment on the basis of gender constitute unlawful discrimination. (See Harassment and sexual harassment)
  • Legislation provides that no one may be placed in an unfavourable position or treated in a less favourable manner because of having complained about discrimination or taken action to safeguard equality. (See Victimisation)
  • The law does not forbid discriminatory measures aimed at achieving genuine equality in the workplace, in order to prevent or reduce the disadvantages caused by discrimination on the prohibited grounds, provided that such "positive discrimination" measures are reasonable in relation to their objectives. (See Positive action)
  • An employer has a general obligation to promote non-discrimination and equal opportunities for its employees regardless of their gender, age or other protected characteristics. (See Active measures)
  • Employees and job applicants who believe that they have been subject to unlawful discrimination may bring a court case in order to seek compensation for the suffering caused. (See Remedies and penalties)