Act on implementation of several European Union regulations on equal treatment of 3 December 2010 (Journal of Laws 2010 No. 254, item 1700)

 

Article 1 – The Act specifies areas and methods of counteracting violations of equal treatment rule due to sex, race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, denomination, beliefs, disability, age or sexual orientation, and competent authorities with respect thereto.

Article 3 – Always when the act refers to:

1) direct discrimination – this shall mean the situation, where one natural person is treated less favourably than another is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation, on grounds of sex, race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, denomination, beliefs, disability, age or sexual orientation;

2) indirect discrimination – this shall mean the situation, where an apparently neutral provision, applied criterion or taken action would expose natural person to a particular adverse disproportions or particularly adverse situation for this person due to sex, race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, denomination, beliefs, disability, age or sexual orientation, unless that provision, criterion or action is objectively justified by a legitimate aim that is to be accomplished and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary;

3) harassment – this shall mean any unwanted conduct that takes place with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a natural person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for this person;

4) sexual harassment – this shall mean the any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature towards a natural person or with respect to sex, with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of this person, in particular by creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for this person;

5) unequal treatment – this shall mean the situation, where natural persons are treated in a way that comprises one or more of the following types of conduct: direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and also less favourable treatment of a natural person due to the rejection of harassment or sexual harassment or failure to submit to the harassment or sexual harassment and encouraging to such conduct or imposing such conduct;

6) principle of equal treatment – this shall mean the absence of any types of conduct that constitute unequal treatment.

Article 7Unequal treatment of natural persons due to race, ethnic origin or nationality, in the scope of medical care and education and higher education shall be also prohibited.

Article 8 paragraph 1Unequal treatment of natural persons due to sex, race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, denomination, belief, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited in the scope of:

1) professional education, including continuation of education, improvement, change of profession and professional practices;

2) conditions for taking and conducting business or professional activity, including, but not limited to the employment relationship or work under a civil-law contract;

3) joining and acting in trade unions, employers’ organisations and professional selfgoverning associations, and also exercising rights to which members of these organisations are entitled;

4) access to and conditions of use of labour market instruments and labour market services, specified in the act of 20th April 2004 on the promotion of employment and labour market institutions, offered by labour market institutions and labour market instruments and labour market services offered by other entities acting for the employment, development of human resources and prevention of unemployment.

The Act on the implementation of some regulations of European Union regarding equal treatment constitutes one of the most important legal acts in force in our country, in which the issue concerning prevention of discrimination was raised. The so-called Act on Equality regulates, among others, issues of equal treatment and prohibition of discrimination in the area of access to goods and services, health care, taking business activity, acting in trade unions, social security, professional education, including continuation of education, improvement, change of profession and professional practices, as well as education and higher education. The Act defines the concept of “direct discrimination”, “indirect discrimination”, “harassment”, “sexual harassment” and “unequal treatment” (Article 3 of the Act).

What is important is the fact that it also determines measures for protection of the principle of equal treatment and authorities competent in case of prevention of its violations. Furthermore, the act on equality also introduced the obligation to establish a competent authority in case of prevention of violations of the principle of equal treatment. Performance of tasks related to the implementation of the principle of equal treatment in our country were entrusted with the Human Rights Defender and the Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment, which monitor the observance of the principle of equal treatment and take actions aiming at elimination of violations of the prohibition of non-discrimination.