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Employers ‘discriminating’ by giving holiday jobs to families

04:50 01/06/2017

Employers who give priority to family members of existing staff for holiday jobs are guilty of discrimination, according to Unia, the federal centre for equal opportunities. Employment opportunities should be open to all, and not just a restricted circle, it said.

“If a business chooses its employees – and excludes other candidates – according to certain restricted criteria, then that has to have a legitimate goal, and there must be evidence of proportionality,” Unia said in a statement. “That’s what the anti-discrimination law says. Refusing students a holiday job simply because they don’t have family members working for the company does not meet the proportionality criterion.”

What could be considered proportional is a company limiting the jobs for family members to a limited number of the vacancies available, with the majority remaining open to others. “Employers who don’t want to organise a selection procedure could look for alternative solutions, for example a lottery or selection on a first-come first-served basis,” Unia said.

The self-employed union SNI reacted strongly. “What kind of nonsense is Unia talking about?” director-general Christine Mattheeuws asked. “Wouldn’t they be better dealing with problems that actually arise? To be clear, businesses are perfectly free to employ anyone they want for a holiday job. If they weren’t, it would be very serious.”

Photo: Ingimage

Written by Alan Hope (Flanders Today)