Linz Airport (OTS) – Parents and those who wish to become parents frequently face disadvantages in the workplace. In order to get to the core of this problem, the Upper Austrian Chamber of Labor began to cooperate with the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. About 7,000 employees between the ages of 21 and 45 were asked about their experiences of discrimination at work because of (potential) paternity. This would help in finding solutions for a fairer work environment and facing disadvantages and discrimination against parents.
The Upper Austrian Employment Chamber is currently surveying around 7,000 employees on the topic of employment discrimination in relation to (potential) paternity. This includes, for example, lower salary grades after returning to work, inflexible working hours and vacation planning, but also derogatory and insulting comments. Together with Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU), experiences, experiences and observations must be brought together and shed light on the scope of injustice.
“We hear over and over again from parents that they are not treated appropriately in their workplace,” says Andreas Stangl, head of the AK Party. These defects can be felt immediately and directly, for example with a push. Discrimination often occurs more vaguely, though, when seemingly neutral regulations or procedures put very specific groups of people at a disadvantage. To some extent, this starts early in the application process. Women in particular are often exposed to intrusive questions about possible pregnancy or family planning during job interviews. If they answered yes to these questions, it could be because they didn’t get the job because of it. This is not only unfair, but simply not allowed. You do not have to provide any information here,” Andreas Stangl explains. “We are also aware of cases from legal counsels where young applicants have had to show a negative pregnancy test.”
Less obvious, but equally discriminatory, is when a managerial position is only as feasible as a full-time job and the professional advancement of part-time workers – often women – is withheld in advance. There are plenty of examples of putting young parents in a worse situation: “It can also sometimes be discriminatory if employees can’t go back to their regular branch after they get back to work, but instead are tasked with standing between branches. This makes it almost impossible Planning for childcare. The situation in which an employee was specifically assigned to work days unfavorable to her, and in which she could not organize childcare, was especially bad,” said the AKP chairperson.
Employers must act against discrimination
It is essential for businesses to prevent such unfair treatment. But also in interpersonal relationships, in the way colleagues treat each other, a fair work culture must be ensured. Many fathers accept emergency solutions to avoid unpleasant situations: “I’d rather take time off than apply for paternity leave. It saves me trouble with my boss and co-workers,” says the aggrieved father who took advantage of the workroom parent counseling service.
With the current survey of (future) randomly selected parents between the ages of 20 and 45, AK Oberösterreich, together with the Department of Experimental Social Research at JKU, is examining the problems and challenges faced by the personnel involved and deriving possible solutions from them.
Employees with children should not be disadvantaged
The position of working parents should become more equitable. There is an urgent need to expand high-quality child education and childcare facilities and a more family-friendly work environment. This is achieved through flexible allocation of working hours and holidays, different flexible shift models and the option to be able to switch from full time to part time and back to full time.
Company culture can also make an important contribution. You must create an environment in which openness and transparency prevail and communication takes place at eye level. “Equal treatment of employees with or without children should not depend on the goodwill of the employer. It should be recognized and lived in as a legal obligation and right for all employees,” said the head of the Upper Austrian Labor Chamber.
An information brochure from AK OÖ on discrimination against (potential) parents can be requested from [email protected] and is also available for download under this link.
Questions and contact:
Chamber of Labor Upper Austria
Gabriel Feringer, The Bachelor