No Fair Asking for Swedes

One of our Swedish correspondents just sent us this note and brief translation:

Concerning our sister nation (broderland) Norway, we are informed by brief notices in the Svenska Dagbladet as well as in the Dagens Nyheter of July 31, 2009 that it is now criminal in Norway to ask specifically for Swedish labor. It is not on record, however, whether it is also criminal to ask for fluency in Swedish in persons that Norwegian employers wish to hire:

Illegal to ask for Swedish labor

Employers in Norway violate the anti-discrimination law if they specifically ask for Swedes to hire. So says the Norwegian Equality and Discrimination Ombudsman Beate Gang in response to an article in [the Norwegian daily] Dagsavisen, in which agencies for “temporary employment workers” testified that employers prefer to hire Swedes.

“It is forbidden to discriminate on grounds of ethnic and national origin. To exclude people with other than Swedish citizenship is discrimination based on national origin,” she said to Dagsavisen.

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Those customers who rely on an “agency for temporary employment workers” must not come with specific requests for nationality, age, gender or ethnic origin, says Beate Ganges.

I notice the article doesn’t mention “sexual orientation” in the list of protected characteristics on the basis of which one may not discriminate. Does this mean it’s still legal to say, “I don’t care who you send, so long as he’s not a poofter”?

2 thoughts on “No Fair Asking for Swedes

  1. Yes. Quite right. It’s bad to discriminate in the workplace. We have the same laws in France.

    Perish the thought that you’d ask for a Frenchman when hiring for a French company. Even defense companies, which used to discriminate for obvious reasons of national security, with full approval and cooperation of the security services, have been sentenced because of that.

    But, when browsing job offers published by the national employment bureau, you regularly come across businesses asking for Arab-speaking applicants only.

    This coming from employers who obviously do not have a specific need for it : small-time cleaning outfits, delivery companies, hallal butchers, etc.

    It’s obviously a ploy to discriminate against indigenous French, and in favor of Muslims.

    The civil servants working at the employment bureau let those obviously illegal offers pass through.

    One of them told me on a blog (anonymously, but his comment seemed genuine) that it was the least they could do, given the atmosphere of intimidation they worked in. If they yielded to demands, he said, many job offers would be written in Arabic only.

    It’s that bad.

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