Law requires that an employer prepare an equality plan 

The Equality Act requires that employers with at least 30 employees prepare an equality plan. Salary surveys form a statutory element in the plan. An equality plan must be prepared in cooperation with a personnel representative and the Act on Co-operation within Undertakings is to be followed while doing so.

What does the Equality Act state?

  • Treating women and men differently on the basis of gender, parenthood or family responsibilities, or for reasons due to pregnancy or childbirth.
  • According to the Equality Act, prohibited discrimination also includes situations in which one of the genders finds itself in a less favourable position due to a basis that appears to be gender-neutral but, in fact, is not.
  • A practice does not constitute discrimination if it is based on a plan that aims to promote equality.
  • According to law, an employer has the responsibility to promote equality in working life. The responsibilities vary according to the company's size, location, economic opportunities, labour supply and applicants. 
  • For example, an employer must act in a way that encourages both genders to apply for open positions, furthers the occupation of various positions by both genders and creates equal opportunities for career advancement.
  • An employer must advance equality in its pay system and other employment terms, facilitate the combination of work and family life and act in a manner that prevents gender-based inequality.

Equality plan indicates the prevailing state and goals

An employer's responsibility to promote equality also includes the preparation and implementation of an equality plan in companies with 30 employees or more. The plan can also be incorporated into the company's personnel and training plan or its action plan for occupational health and safety.

An equality plan includes:

1) an account of the equality situation at the workplace, and as part of it, an itemisation of the various positions occupied by women and men and an account of women's and men's job grades, salaries and salary differences.

2) actions for promoting equality and attaining pay equality.

3) an assessment of the implementation and results of previous measures included in the equality plan.

A good equality plan also indicates:

  • How large a share of managers are women and men?
  • What is the distribution of female and male managers in various operational areas?
  • What is the distribution of female and male managers in other positional levels?
  • If the distribution is unbalanced, what is the reason for it?
  • What kinds of recruitment channels and titles are used?
  • Who are supported to apply for new positions?
  • Which positions have the highest pay?
  • What kinds of employee benefits are offered and to whom?
  • What leisure activities does the company organise and who attend them?
  • What kind of training is offered and to whom?
  • What is the distribution of family leaves?
  • Is everyone encouraged to take family leaves?
  • What was the situation the previous year, what was agreed upon at the time and how have the measures taken effect?

Read more:

Most female find deficiencies in equality at work

See also:

Act on Equality between Women and Men (in Finnish)

Gender equality website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Akava's equality website (in Finnish)

Gender equality into pay systems. Observations in the TAPAS Project on developing of pay systems. Publications of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 2012. (in Finnish)

Contact information:

Advisor

tel. +358201299253

Kosti Hyyppä

kosti.hyyppa@ekonomit.fi