Non-discrimination and equality in working life

Discrimination and unfair treatment in working life are prohibited. Under the Non-Discrimination Act, employers may not discriminate against employees on the basis of

  • age,
  • origin,
  • nationality,
  • language,
  • religion, belief, opinion,
  • political activities, trade union activities,
  • family ties,
  • health, disability,
  • sexual orientation,
  • gender or
  • other personal characteristics.

The Act on Equality between Women and Men (Equality Act) contains provisions on non-discrimination on the basis of gender.

Harassment, denial of reasonable accommodation and instructions and orders to discriminate are also prohibited. Moreover, no one may be treated unfavourably or suffer adverse consequences after having taken measures to ensure non-discrimination or participated in such measures (prohibition of victimisation).

The Employment Contracts Act also lays down that employees must be treated equally. Work discrimination in the advertisement of a vacancy or selection of an employee or during employment that meets the statutory definition of the offence under the Criminal Code is punishable.


Monitoring labour discrimination in Finland, 2014 (abstract)

Further information:

Guidance and supervision of labour legislation: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha)
Law-drafting: Seija Jalkanen, seija.jalkanen(at)