Elisabeth Borne draws new measures against discrimination at work

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Posted Jan 30, 2023, 6:11 AMUpdated on Jan 30, 2023 at 5:07 PM

At the very moment when the examination of the pension reform project began in the Assembly, the Prime Minister was at the Institute of the Arab World, in Paris, on a completely different subject: she unveiled her plan to fight against racism. , anti-Semitism and origin-related discrimination for 2023-2026. Parenthesis in the current social conflict? Beyond Elisabeth Borne’s personal attachment to the subject, the event took place in another equally political time, just before the presentation this Wednesday in the Council of Ministers of the very controversial immigration bill.

The plan nonetheless fills a void. The previous system decided under Edouard Philippe was supposed to apply from 2018 to 2020. Two blank years followed with the Covid epidemic. The new system, and its 80 measures which have not all been presented, is the result of a broad consultation initiated in September with around thirty associations and foundations in addition to the Defender of Rights, the National Commission for Human Rights. man and Arcom.

Regular testing

Unlike previous times, it includes a specific section devoted to discrimination in employment, with in particular the commitment to henceforth organize “regular testing in different sectors of activity”. Their terms “will be built with the actors (trade unions and employers’ organisations, associations, public authorities)”, it is specified. In a “graduated logic”, if bad practices persist, the government does not rule out resorting to sanctions and “name and shame” (naming to shame) for pinned companies, which has already been done once during the previous five-year term.

On the other hand, the plan is silent on the individual testing that can be carried out to gather evidence, included in the bill being prepared by Renaissance MP Marc Ferracci.

A fund for group actions

The plan provides for the creation of a “dissuasive civil fine” “in addition to the order for compensation for the damage suffered by the victim”. This is not limited to discrimination at work, but it will concern employers and it will “supply, subject to expertise on the feasibility, a fund which will be used to finance group actions against discrimination”.

These group actions, created at the end of 2016 and which aim to highlight systemic discrimination in companies, are very complex to implement. Witness the series of group actions launched by the CGT against Safran on union discrimination, currently on appeal, and against the Caisse d’épargne Ile-de-France concerning sexist discrimination. The government says it wants “union organizations to seize more of this possibility”.

A history or memory visit for each student

Beyond the novelty of the section devoted to employment, usually treated elsewhere, the plan returns to subjects already included in the two previous plans, that of 2015-2017 and that of 2018-2020. There is the repetition of commitments already made but not kept, such as the training of all civil servants in the fight against racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Gypsyism and all forms of discrimination.

The new plan does not provide […] still nothing concerning the racial identity checks condemned by the Court of Cassation.

There are also new measures. This is thus the case, with regard to the “need to educate”, the commitment to “the organization of a visit of history or memory linked to racism, anti-Semitism or anti-Gypsyism for each student during his or her schooling.

Reinforcement of sanctions

The strengthening of penalties for perpetrators of racist offenses has been a constant since 2015. The new plan thus provides for increased penalties in the event of non-public offenses committed in the exercise of their functions by persons vested with public authority. or charged with a public service mission. But still nothing concerning the facies identity checks condemned by the Court of Cassation.

The arsenal of the fight against hate on the Internet is also reinforced again with “an arrest warrant against [à ceux] who are hiding behind the law of 1881 which governs the law of the press, ”announced the Keeper of the Seals, Eric Dupond-Moretti.

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