Protection against age discrimination in Sweden
The Swedish Discrimination Act (2008:567) contains a prohibition against discrimination on the grounds of age. This protection covers the areas of working life (in a broad sense) and education.
The prohibition against discrimination in working life means that an employer may not discriminate against someone who is employed, seeking employment or carrying out a traineeship if this has any connection with their age. Persons performing work as temporary or borrowed labour also have protection against discrimination.
The Act also states that special treatment connected to age is permitted if it has a justified purpose and the means used are appropriate and necessary to meet the purpose.
The Equality Ombudsman ensures compliance with the Discrimination Act
Anyone who has been subjected to discrimination on the grounds of age can report this to the Equality Ombudsman. The Equality Ombudsman is the agency responsible for ensuring compliance with the Discrimination Act.
Reports of discrimination, harassment and similar treatment are looked into by investigators at the Office of the Equality Ombudsman.
The Office of the Equality Ombudsman conducts an impartial investigation, which means that it collects information from both the person who has submitted the report and the person who has been reported.
If the investigation reveals that it can be assumed that discrimination or unfair treatment has taken place, the Office of the Equality Ombudsman will first try to negotiate a voluntary agreement, known as 'conciliation', between you and the employer, for example. This could be a pay rise, an apology, financial compensation or training.
If you and your employer, for example, cannot reach an agreement through conciliation, the Office of the Equality Ombudsman may take the case to the Labour Court.
Prohibition against punishing a person who reports discrimination
If you have reported your employer, employment service, trade union or similar for discrimination, you cannot be punished, that is to say you cannot be subjected to reprisals. Punishment or reprisals could be, for example, unreasonable ordered overtime, a greater work burden, tasks for which you are overqualified or the employment service refusing to help you find a job.
Nor is an employer permitted to subject you to reprisals if you point out, for example, that he or she is not taking preventive action against discrimination.