October 28, 2020


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“Half of the employees are discriminated against, especially when applying for a job.”

"Half of the employees are discriminated against, especially when applying for a job."

Most employees were discriminated against at some point, usually during an application process. In their research, applicants state that they are primarily discriminated against in terms of age and background.

The job vacancies Nationale Vacaturebank and Intermediair asked the Motivaction research agency to conduct a comprehensive survey among employers, employees and job seekers. Ultimately, approximately 2,100 people took part in the study.

55 percent of employees state that they have been discriminated against in an application process. The percentage is much higher among the unemployed: 85 percent. The majority of participants state that they have been discriminated against on the basis of their age, more than a quarter on the basis of their origin. Around 18 percent state that they are disadvantaged due to their gender.

‘Blind spot’

DPG Recruitment, the parent company of the two vacancies, wants to use this research to raise employers’ awareness of discrimination in the workplace. Although it’s a hot topic, according to Sharita Boon, Commercial Director of DPG Recruitment, there is still too little awareness among companies. “For many companies, this is a blind spot. 43 percent of employers say they don’t see this as a problem.”

Discrimination in the labor market has been on the agenda of many companies for some time. This fall, a bill will be presented to the House of Representatives that obliges employers to do something about discrimination. Discriminatory employers will soon be fined up to € 4,500.

A little change

Boon doubts that new laws will solve the problem. “You don’t change stereotypes like this overnight. It’s a long-term process. Fortunately, some companies are doing well.”

Numerous studies on discrimination in the labor market have been conducted in recent years. A large report by the Office for Social and Cultural Planning on Discrimination has recently been published. The research agency Motivaction also sees that companies want to learn more about discrimination in the workplace.

Despite all interests, discrimination on the labor market does not decrease. Motivaction’s Ester Koot sees a small change. “Companies are asking more and more serious questions and really asking their employees how they experience equality at work. Perhaps the issue is now really on the corporate agenda.”