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Pregnancy discrimination major problem in Finland

Staff Writer |
Annika Saarikko, the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, says she was shocked to find out how common pregnancy discrimination still is in Finland.

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Saarikko adds that the most common examples of pregnancy discrimination are cases in which an employer decides not to extend the fixed-term contract of an employee after learning that she is pregnant and cases in which an employer terminates the position of an employee while the employee is on parental leave.

“I was shocked after last week’s meeting with the Ombudsman for Equality,” writes Saarikko.

She also reminds that applicants are not required to answer all questions at a job interview and that pregnancy discrimination is categorically prohibited under law.

“Yet it takes place,” she laments. “Attitudes are deep-rooted. People are asked about family matters even though that is not allowed. People are laid off on murky grounds even though that is not allowed. This is an issue that should not be ignored as we overhaul the family leave system.”

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