In the study, approximately 570 voluntarily and involuntarily childless persons were interviewed in order to find out their experiences of workplace discrimination. It revealed that 60% of involuntarily childless respondents have experienced holiday and shift discrimination. A third of the respondents reported that they had experienced discrimination related to infertility or fertility treatments in the last five years.
In addition, 61% of involuntarily childless and 39% of voluntarily childless respondents experienced discrimination in holiday or work shift planning. 80% of shift workers reported that they had encountered discrimination during their shift. In addition, 33% of involuntarily childless and 25% of voluntarily childless respondents experienced discrimination in balancing work and private life.
The study suggests that work-life balance should be emphasized instead of work-family balance, as childless people also have time-consuming responsibilities outside of work. All employees, regardless of family status, have the right to work-life balance and work-related flexibility.
– So-called stereotypical attitudes about employees with or without children are common in workplaces. Everyone has the right to work-related flexibility, a balanced workload and recovery time, regardless of family status,” said. Soile RajamäkiVoluntarily, chairman of Lapsettomat ry.
The study also found that childless employees face assumptions from their superiors and coworkers, such as the assumption that an employee of childbearing age will soon be on parental leave. These assumptions should not influence decisions about responsibility or training.
In summary, it can be stated that childless employees must receive equal treatment in vacation planning, work shift scheduling, career advancement, and work-life balance. Discrimination against childless workers must be identified and removed from Finnish workplaces.
Source: The Nordic Page