Equal rights and opportunities for all
Arbetsförmedlingen works to promote equal rights and opportunities for all in working life. We do this in our work with employers and jobseekers, but also internally within the government agency.
How we define our work with equal rights and opportunities in working life
Equal rights and opportunities in working life means that our customers and employees have a right to equivalent support, offers, services and programmes based on their prerequisites and needs. To be equivalent, it sometimes needs to be different.
Free from discrimination
Our work is to help people and companies grow. One prerequisite for that is this is that everyone, irrespective of sex, ethnicity, religion or other belief, functional impairment, sexual orientation or age has access to our measures, programmes and services on equal terms.
Our goals for the work we do with equal rights and opportunities in working life are:
- A labour market free from discrimination – this means a labour market for everyone irrespective of sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, functional impairment, sexual orientation or age.
- Our activities are free from discrimination – this means that our services have to be legally certain, equal, gender-equal and accessible.
- Our workplace is free from discrimination – this means that Arbetsförmedlingen is a workplace for everyone.
We have been tasked with incorporating a gender equality perspective in all our activities. Male and female jobseekers are to have equal access to labour market support so that we make it more feasible for them to work and to support themselves to the same extent. That means that a gender equality perspective must be included in the design when planning, implementing, following up and developing activities at all levels.
A basic prerequisite for this work is having access to statistics broken down by sex. Our statistics are available to everyone so that we are also able to contribute to others’ work with gender equality in the labour market.
Our reports often contain a gender equality perspective. This is often included in the brief summary of each report. In this way, both we here at Arbetsförmedlingen and others can learn more about the gender equality challenges that remain.
Our work is a part of the Government’s strategy to reach the gender equality policy goals, and this strategy is known as gender equality integration. Many government agencies work in the same way and we share experiences in this area with other government agencies in an exchange that is led by the Swedish Gender Equality Agency (Jämställdshetsmyndihgeten).
A functional impairment or lack of accessibility must not be an obstacle to participation in our activities or to working for us. That is why we actively work to be an accessible government agency for our customers and an accessible workplace for our employees. We always strive to be inclusive and create the best possible conditions that allow all people to be treated in a way that is based on their prerequisites.
Our policy on equal rights and opportunities makes it clear, among other things, that
- our offices are to be designed so that everyone, irrespective of functional ability, is able to visit the government agency and make use of our entire range of services.
- it has to be possible for people with functional impairments to communicate with and access the government agency’s information via printed media, the telephone, the internet, videos and meetings.
- our website and our online services are usable by everyone, irrespective of their functional ability.
Digital accessibility involves both technology and content meeting certain requirements. As a government agency, there are several laws we need to comply with, we use standards and have our own policies. Digital services have to work, irrespective of ability, context or situation. To achieve this we have a number of procedures and activities. Here are some examples.
- Designing for various functional variations such as impaired vision or hearing, motor and cognitive functional impairments – through universal design, we can understand who we are excluding and start including.
- Accessibility testing of new websites, applications and services so that they function with various tools and aids.
- User testing with people with functional impairments.
- Finding out needs through dialogue with user organisations.
- Using plain language and, where necessary, also writing in an easy-to-read style.
- Informing and training internally.
- Setting requirements when procuring systems or independent actors.
Sweden has five recognised national minorities. As a government agency, we are to contribute to protecting and promoting the languages and cultures of the national minorities.
The fundamental rights of minorities are governed by the Act on National Minorities and Minority Languages. One of the legal requirements is that all administrative authorities must give the national minorities the opportunity to exercise influence in matters that concern them and, as far as possible, consult with representatives of the minorities in these matters. We must also inform the national minorities of their legal rights in Swedish or the respective minority language.
In order to provide more scope for participation and influence, we invite representatives from the national organisations for national to engage in consultation.
We cooperate with other government agencies to contribute to equal rights and opportunities for all in society as a whole. Cooperation often takes place as part of a Government assignment where we are given specific responsibility for the labour market and working life in the matter in question.