Investigation StockholmAbdul Latif Haj Muhammad Jan 31 2022
Employers in Sweden are circumventing attempts to integrate immigrants and those born outside the country into the labor market, despite the large financial support provided to them, as there are fewer opportunities for those who bear foreign names or wear clothes that do not agree with the views of those who offer jobs.
– During her previous work in a recruitment company, the Syrian human rights defender, based in Stockholm , Nour Abdel Salam, who runs the “Together Stronger” organization, tried to support a veiled woman in obtaining a job interview, but the Swedish business owner refused to hire her, saying: “It is better for you to leave the job.” Her veil, because it constitutes an obstacle, as the work environment prevents religious manifestations,” he said.
Discrimination at work because of non-Swedish clothes or names is one of the most prominent problems that people born outside Sweden face , especially females, according to investigative sources. About work”, the results of which proved that those with Arabic names received much fewer answers to employment applications than those with Swedish names, without previous work experience playing an important role in interacting with the requests, as the research team sent 10,000 fake requests to 3,300 job advertisements that did not require qualifications. Higher education or previous work experience published on the Public Employment Service website of the Ministry of Labor in 2018. The response rate to the requests of the group with Swedish names who indicated that they had work experience or previous training was 19.6%, compared to 10.1% for the group with Arabic names.
The situation has not changed at the present time, as data from the National Statistics Center during the first quarter of 2021 showed that unemployment among foreign-born is greater, and 20% of them are unemployed, compared to 4.6% among those born in Sweden. The number of Swedes born abroad in 2021, according to the National Statistics Center, was 2,046,731. This means that more than 19.7% of the total population in Sweden was born abroad.Investigation
Migrant women suffer discrimination
Syrian Rana Barghouth, who has lived in Sweden since 2015 through her work in a private employment company, notes that those born outside Sweden have fewer opportunities than those born in Sweden to access good jobs, especially females, noting that employers can apply for financial aid amounting to 70 or 80% of the value of the salary when they employ male or female employees born outside Sweden, or new arrivals, according to the information published on the website of the Public Employment Service in Sweden of the Ministry of Labor, but this, according to Barghout, encouraged employers to hire immigrant women for limited periods, ending with a period The assistance provided by the Labor Office, which may reach a maximum of three years.
Barghouth herself faced discriminatory measures during her previous work in a private recruitment company related to the existence of wage gaps between employees based on race, as the value of the initial salary, which immigrant women received in the first month of work, did not exceed 13,615 crowns (equivalent to approximately 1500 dollars). , while the salary of her Swedish counterpart in the first month of the job is 22,692 crowns ($ 2,500), regardless of the salary and wage scale, even if they have the same skills.
20% of people born outside Sweden are unemployed
As for the Egyptian Khadija Al-Abdullah, she did not even have a single opportunity to hold a job interview despite the many requests she submitted since her arrival in Sweden in 2014, and the refusal was applied to jobs that do not require experience or educational qualifications (such as cleaning work and caring for the elderly in their homes) and she is still unemployed. work so far, describing it as an “uncomfortable feeling to be rejected for no reason”, which made her believe it might be due to her hijab and her name.
Al-Abdullah goes monthly to the Labor Office of the Government Employment Department in the suburb of Charholmen, south of the capital, in order to submit a mandatory monthly report on the activity of searching for work since her arrival in Sweden as a refugee and obtaining the right to alternative protection, in addition to the approval of the empowerment plan, which includes learning the Swedish language and helping refugees Newcomers gain the skills necessary to enter the labor market. But nothing has changed its status, even after completing the requirements of the plan that aims to integrate immigrants, and the Corona pandemic has increased the difficulties, as meetings with employees have shifted to digital platforms, and personal interviews are limited to very special cases.
The Syrian Maysoon Abdulaziz senses a clear intention by the hotel management, whose restaurant she works in the city of Gothenburg, in the west of the country, to exclude female workers of non-Swedish origin from tasks that require any contact with visitors, and assign them mostly hidden jobs in dishwashers or laundry and ironing rooms. She is the one who works in the main team of chefs and prepares the basic cold dishes in the main restaurant, so her name was not included in the chef’s menu for “incomprehensible reasons”, she said.
The previous facts are explained by the data of the National Statistics Center during the first quarter of 2021, which reveal a discrepancy in the percentages of workers born in Sweden and those born abroad and then acquired Swedish citizenship. The employment rate among women born in Sweden was 81.7%, and among men 85.0%. In contrast, the employment rate among those born abroad was 65.1%, the percentage of working women who were born outside Sweden decreased to 58.9%, and among men born abroad 71.1%.Picture
Survey results conducted by researchers at Linnaeus State University Center for Discrimination and Inclusion Studies while carrying out a survey in April 2016, titled “It is easier to get a job if you have a Swedish name,” show that young people between the ages of 18 and 25 perceive that Unemployment is the biggest societal challenge for people born outside Sweden, due to the poor chances of people born outside Sweden being called up for a job interview.
This study demonstrated the poor chances of calling people born outside Sweden and bearing non-Swedish names for job interviews, which increases unemployment rates in their ranks, by sending the research team to 3,000 applications, half of them with Swedish names and the other half with names from the Middle East and Africa. Of these, 30% of those with Swedish names were called for job interviews, while only 20% of those with foreign names were called in despite equal qualifications.
Based on responses from corporate and hiring managers to the study’s principal investigator Magnus Carlsson, associate professor of economics at Linnaeus University who researches discrimination in the labor market, Swedes who are indigenous or descended from Western Europe and North America, who have network, They benefit from network-based employment and do not find it difficult to enter the labor market. Carlson attributes these discriminatory practices to “unprofessional employers”.
Employers ignore applications with non-Swedish names
The above explains what the Syrian Sarah Jamal (a pseudonym for fear of losing a job) went through, who took refuge in Sweden in 2015, and was unable to obtain a job opportunity that matches her academic qualifications, as she holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Leadership for Sustainability, MSLS, from Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden. She submitted a series of requests, but all of them were not taken into account, according to her version, stressing that the exclusion of her request because of her Arab name and her image in a headscarf. After working on the advice of her friends residing in Sweden to seek work through acquaintances, she was able to find a job in a Swedish company that specializes in translation services, social guidance and support for refugee and immigrant students, but she is not satisfied with her work, which does not match her qualifications and specialized studies.
Abd al-Salam found that the job seeker is born outside Sweden, even if she is educated, but she lacks a reference that the employer can communicate with to obtain sufficient information about her, and this prompted many immigrant women coming from the Middle East to leave their profession and do other jobs.
The dilemma of proving the act of discrimination
In the last three years, the number of complaints submitted to the Ombudsman for Discrimination (a government body with an independent budget) reached 2,579 reports of discrimination on the basis of race, without reference to a particular ethnic group, and 563 on the basis of religious affiliation without reference to a specific religion, the majority of which were The reports relate to practical life according to the written response to “The New Arab”, from the press attache to the Ombudsman for Discrimination, Claes Lund Stead.
The ombudsman generally receives more reports and complaints from women than men, Steed explains, but the difference between the sexes is small and it is not possible to know whether the complainant was born abroad or in Sweden. At the same time, he asserts that very few of those who have experienced discrimination at work file a complaint, noting that their role is to receive complaints related to discrimination at work on the basis of race, since discrimination on the basis of appearance is not one of the seven causes of discrimination covered by the Swedish Discrimination Law No. (567). 2008): Gender, religion, ethnicity, disability, age, and gender identity of transgender people, as well as sexual orientation (homosexual and bisexual).
The Syrian lawyer, Ihab Abd Rabbo, who works in the Swedish law firm Din Advokat (your personal lawyer), attributed the reluctance to complain to the fact that the law requires the employee to prove the discriminatory act, adding that personal nominations and nepotism play an important role in employment, and the responsible person is allowed to work. By using tools, methods, and justifications that the court cannot take as evidence of discrimination, such as the use of the factor of lack of Swedish proficiency, without regard to the required skills and competence of the applicant.
What Abd Rabbo said is consistent with what was stated in a government investigation carried out by experts and judges appointed by the government, entitled “Better Protection from Discrimination,” published in 2016 in the open government database. than the employer having to prove that no discrimination occurred. and that the person being discriminated against has a “duty to provide evidence”.Investigation
Complaints not investigated
The government investigation, Better Protection Against Discrimination, concluded that the Office of the Discrimination Ombudsman should investigate more complaints and reports than it does today. A review of racial discrimination cases and rulings at the Employment Court (Arbetsdomstolen), which is tasked with adjudicating labor law disputes, and hearing discrimination claims brought by individuals from 2003 to 2021, found that the court did not deal with racial discrimination for people who already have jobs. But only job seekers who experienced employment discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion or other beliefs. Only one employer was convicted in one case at the Labor Court, out of 832 complaints submitted by individuals during the monitoring period. The case in which the employer was convicted concerns a worker from the Gambia who was called in the company by nicknames, including: “The African” and “Bastard.” Big Black” and “Black Skull”. The State Undersecretary for Discrimination, Lars Arrhenius, clarifies in his written response to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the Office of the Ombudsman for Discrimination does not have the opportunity to investigate all reports and complaints received or to represent every person who has been discriminated against in their work before the court. This is due to the lack of specialized financial and human resources to deal with complaints, and to verify their accuracy and not maliciousness. Adding that he seeks to increase the number of supervisory cases considered by the Operations Department in court, stressing that in the Swedish discrimination law, it is very clear that the responsibility to ensure that discrimination does not occur in the work environment lies with employers.
Eva Schumer, Professor of Sociology of Law at Christian Stad University in southern Sweden, criticizes the work of the State Attorney for Discrimination in handling discrimination reports and complaints, saying that discrimination cases in working life should have their own ombudsman so that the work can be carried out in a systematic manner especially that the investigation Its takes a long time.