Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 29/07/2009

EU gender legislation has helped tackle workplace discrimination – new report

EU legislation has benefited workers through broader protection against discrimination based on gender and clearer definitions of discrimination, says a European Commission report adopted on July 29, 2009.

Implementation of Directive 2002/73/EC has generally been satisfactory, although not all countries have yet brought their rules into line with EU requirements. The report identifies the main problems and good practices in implementing the Directive, which aims to promote equal treatment for men and women in access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions.

Today's report looks at how Member States have implemented the key provisions of Directive 2002/73/EC, with a view to identifying the main problems and good practices. It notes progress in implementing the Directive and describes it as satisfactory, but draws also attention to the fact that the Commission has had to take action against some national governments that have not yet brought their laws and procedures into line with the Directive. The report also focuses on the enforcement of obligations under the Directive, noting that victims of discrimination rarely make use of traditional litigation.

National equality bodies have a key role in furthering equality, says the report, particularly in assisting victims of discrimination, who are more likely to turn to an equality body than make use of traditional litigation. As for the role of social partners, employers and NGOs in promoting equality, the report notes a great diversity of approaches throughout Member States.

The legislation amended a previous directive from 1976 (76/207/EEC) and entered into force on 5 October 2002. Member States had until 5 October 2005 to incorporate it into their own national legal systems.

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