In the midst of the debate on the pension reform project, the Government is investing in a field dear to the President of the Republic: equal opportunities.
A three-year plan to fight against racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination linked to origin was thus unveiled on Monday by Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne.
The result of a consultation initiated in September with nearly 35 associations and several independent institutions, the plan proposes “
80 ambitious measures
” against “
racist, anti-Semitic discourse and discriminatory behavior
Distortions of the "
republican principle of equal opportunity
", discrimination related to the world of work and access to housing are in the sights of the government.
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As far as employment is concerned, the issue of discrimination is like a sea snake. Legislation may be reinforced, but the disputed practices persist year after year.
In 2020, nearly a quarter of working people said they had experienced discrimination or discriminatory harassment according to the Defender of Rights (Barometer on the perception of discrimination in employment).
Former Keeper of the Seals and Defender of Rights from 2014 to 2020, Jacques Toubon did not hesitate to mention "
" to describe the French situation.
Similarly, the Economic Analysis Council estimated in 2020 that
“a modest reduction in the gaps in employment rates and wages between populations discriminated against because of their gender or their ethnic origin would yield 7% of GDP in 20 years, or 150 billion euros”
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This discrimination in hiring can be expressed according to sex, as according to the origin of the candidate, a point on which a study by Dares - the statistical service of the Ministry of Labor - returned, in 2021. to fight against this phenomenon, the government wishes to strengthen
, a method which consists in sending two identical CVs for the same job offer with the only difference being the origin of the candidate.
The executive thus wants to “
organize regular testing in different sectors of activity, private and public, according to methods which will be built with the actors (trade unions and employers’ organizations, associations, public authorities concerned)
The authorities also want to go beyond the simple “
name and shame
”, which consists of publishing the names of bad student companies.
These could indeed be financially punished, provides for the plan: "
dissuasive civil fines
" should be imposed on discriminating employers, in addition to the condemnation to compensation for the damage suffered by the victim.
This future sanction, the terms of which are not yet known, "
could feed, subject to expertise on the feasibility, a fund which will be used to finance group actions against discrimination
", indicates the government.
In addition, the Prime Minister wishes to make "
» group actions carried out by employees or applicants who consider themselves victims of discrimination by the same company.
Focus on public service
In parallel with the private sector, the civil service is also involved.
To fight against contentious recruitment processes and, more broadly, against discrimination suffered at work, the plan proposes to “
train 100% of State agents in office
” in questions of racism.
The government invites the National Center for the Territorial Public Service (CNFPT) and the National Association for the Continuing Education of Hospital Staff (ANFH) to “deliver
training of the same nature to territorial and hospital public officials
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The executive, which seeks to prevent bad behavior, also wishes to punish it.
Aggravated penalties in the event of non-public offenses of a racist or anti-Semitic nature committed, in the exercise of their function, by persons holding public authority or charged with a public service mission"
will be put in place by 2026. A change which could also concern "
facies of facies
" denounced by associations: according to a report on the fight against discrimination in the action of the police commissioned by the Minister of the Interior, 40 reports for racial profiling during a law enforcement operation were made to the national police between March 2019 and December 2020.
Discrimination in housing, the other major government project
Another point, the plan includes measures to fight against discrimination in access to housing.
Here again, the government relies on training and testing to change behavior.
The executive intends to draw inspiration from the agreement concluded between SOS Racisme and the FNAIM to set up a testing-control-training system aimed at real estate agents and property managers.
A reminder is also planned for the attention of the prefects, to indicate to them, by means of a circular, "
the importance of verifying the absence of discrimination linked to origin, within the framework of the management of applications for social housing
But this measure does not appear to cover goods sold by private owners.
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Inequalities in access to housing are underlined by various actors.
According to a survey on discrimination in access to housing published in 2016 by the Defender of Rights, housing is perceived as one of the areas most subject to discrimination (46%), after employment (47%) and police checks (50%).
So many points on which the executive's plan must improve the situation.