Working preventively against discrimination

Last changed: 20 September 2021

In our role as an employer and education provider, SLU has a responsibility to counteract discrimination and act for equal rights and opportunities. In the Discrimination Act, actions to prevent discrimination are called active measures. Working with active measures can usefully be coordinated with systematic work environment management (SAM) as defined in the Work Environment Act. Active measures should be continually implemented.

All four steps should be documented. In our role as an employer, we are obligated to coordinate measures with employees/employees’ organisations, and as an education provider, we must coordinate our work in this area with the student representatives.

Ground and types of discrimination

Work with the four steps should be based on the seven grounds of discrimination as defined in the Discrimination Act.

  • gender
  • transgender identity or expression
  • ethnicity
  • religion or other belief
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • age

Read more about the grounds of discrimination on the Equality Ombudsman website.

The Discrimination Act defines six types of discrimination:

  • direct discrimination
  • indirect discrimination
  • harassment
  • sexual harassment
  • inadequate accessibility
  • instruction to discriminate

Read more about different types of discrimination on the Equality Ombudsman website.

According to the Discrimination Act, reprisals are also prohibited. This applies to anyone who has

  • reported harassment;
  • called attention to harassment;
  • participated in an investigation of harassment;
  • rejected or given in to harassment or sexual harassment on the part of the employer.

Read more about reprisals on the Equality Ombudsman website.

Working with active measures

Work with active measures should be systematic and take place continually, in four steps.

  1. Investigate if there are risks of discrimination, reprisals or any other obstacles to the equal rights and opportunities of all employees.
  2. Analyse causes of the risks and obstacles that have been identified.
  3. Take the preventive and promotional measures that can reasonably be taken.
  4. Follow up and evaluate this work.

Active measures by the employer

The following areas must be investigated and a risk assessment done:

  • working conditions
  • pay and other terms of employment
  • recruitment and promotion
  • training and other continuing professional development
  • possibility of combining work and parenthood.

Read more about the areas to investigate on the Equality Ombudsman website.

Active measures at departments and divisions

Departments and divisions decide themselves how to organise their work. Try using existing workgroups such as steering councils, coordination groups or other workplace groupings.

Support for working with active measures – employer

There are guides and other supporting material on active measures. The gender equality and equal opportunities officer at each faculty and at the HR Unit are also available for support.

Active measures for education providers

The following areas must be investigated and a risk assessment done:

  • admission and recruitment
  • forms of instruction and organising education
  • examinations and student assessment
  • study environment
  • possibility of combining studies and parenthood

Read more about the areas to investigate on the Equality Ombudsman website.

Active measures at faculties/departments and divisions 

Faculties/departments and the divisions concerned decide themselves how to organise their work. Try using existing workgroups such as steering councils, coordination groups or other workplace groupings. At each faculty, there is a gender equality and equal opportunities committee.

Support for working with active measures – education provider

There are guides and other supporting material on active measures. You can also contact the gender equality and equal opportunities officer at each faculty for support.

Combatting sexual harassment

SLU is involved in a research and collaboration programme to combat sexual harassment and gender-based victimisation in academia. Read about the programme and the prevalence study being conducted in spring 2021.

Read more about sexual harassment: