Businesses do too little for social security: ‘A targeted policy is needed’ | NOW

Employees do not feel safe in all companies. Exclusion, bullying and discrimination are common. It shows new figures on social security in the workplace. Not all leaders know what’s going on, while it’s up to them to change this.

Nearly one in five Dutch people has felt socially insecure in the workplace, according to the National Vacancy Bank Discrimination Monitor 2022. The survey was conducted among 2,500 Dutch people aged 18 to 68, which together constitute a representative reflection of the Dutch population.

Of all respondents who say they have ever felt socially insecure, 30 percent indicate that it involved ignoring or being excluded from a group. Bullying was cited as an example in 27 percent of cases and receiving ugly comments in 25 percent of cases.

The figures do not surprise Nacha Rakraki, a spokeswoman for the College of Human Rights. “We see, for example, that sexual harassment is widespread, and so is pregnancy discrimination. Our latest survey shows that 16 percent of employees, significantly more often women, have experienced some form of sexual harassment over a ten-year period.”

“It’s naive to think that social insecurity does not arise in your business”

Sharita Boon, Commercial Director of DPG Recruitment

16% experienced discrimination in the workplace

Rakraki says the institute also receives many inquiries to give an opinion on possible discrimination in recruitment and selection procedures. for example, someone has the idea that they have been rejected for a position on the basis of origin, age or gender. Rakraki: “About one in ten requests is about conditions in the workplace. Most of these are about discrimination based on origin, gender, disability or chronic illness.”

A similar figure comes from the National Vacancy Bank Discrimination Monitor: 16 percent of respondents state that they have experienced discrimination at work. In 30 percent of the cases, this was done on the basis of origin.

Social insecurity is more common than employers think, says Sharita Boon, commercial director at DPG Recruitment. “It is naive to think that it will not happen or can not happen for you. It is important to actively investigate if and where it happens, and to investigate it structurally. If you do not know what is going on, you can do nothing. change .”

The figures show that many companies are not doing anything about it yet. 14 percent of respondents from the Discrimination Labor Monitor say management is not aware of social security in the workplace. In 28 percent of cases, after an unpleasant experience, no notification follows or no action is taken.

Mandatory to create a non-discriminatory working environment

The Department of Human Rights sees discrimination as a problem that will not just disappear. Partly because it does not only occur in contact with a manager or colleagues. “It also often happens through contact with external parties such as customers. Such a thing does not resolve itself. Therefore, a targeted policy is needed that addresses all specific parts where it may occur.”

If you do not, you are not fulfilling the employer’s obligations, Rakraki says. “An employer has a duty to prevent discrimination. This is not only mandatory, but also part of good employerhood.” But how to ensure this is not always clear, says Rakraki. “Equal treatment legislation contains obligations for employers to combat sexual intimidation, for example, but these are not always clear. It is therefore important that you, as an employer, board member or manager, take a closer look at this.”

Boon sees that many companies have social security on the agenda, but have e.g. not set up any policies or processes. “Creating a hotline with a trusted advisor is not that difficult. But it should work, if no one feels safe enough to talk about it, or the hotline is not known at all, no one will use it. As an employer, you need to keep going. invest in a safe working environment. “

Rakraki: “Employees need to feel safe enough to bring up discrimination or other unwanted behavior in the workplace. It requires a lot of your work culture.”

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