Comment of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights on the draft for the amendment of the Equal Treatment Act
The amendment of the Equal Treatment Act only partially fulfills the intended objectives: In mid-July 2010, the draft for the amendment of the Equal Treatment Act and the Law on the Equal Treatment Commission and the Ombud for Equal Treatment have been released and organizations invited to provide their expertise. The draft has prompted the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights to comment on it.
Fundamental elements of the amendment are the improvement of the transparency of income, the enhancement of the level of protection against discrimination in the access to goods and services and the improvement of instruments for the implementation of the equality principle.
The amendment is criticized for its partially insufficient realization of the above-mentioned aims, especially the strengthening of existing hierarchies, and the lack of sanctions against employers who do not comply with their obligation to report on the employee’s incomes, and requires immediate revision. Moreover, the fact that the principle of non-discrimination is not applied for advertisements in relation to all goods and services gives reason for concern.
Among other claims, the BIM calls for:
- the creation of a uniform frame for all grounds of discrimination;
- a legal provision on equity of income also including variable income components, which is in compliance with European legal standards;
- a legal provision on follow-up procedures to the suggestions issued by the Equal Treatment Commission addressed to the respondents;
- the improvement of the data collected by the Ombud for Equal Treatment and the Equal Treatment Commission for the development of measures encouraging equal treatment.