Economics serving society

Marie-Anne Valfort - Eight policy recommendations to combat discrimination in the labour market (July 2020)

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In a few words

Regardless of their origin (gender, skin colour, age, disability...), discriminations in the labour market are a scourge: they threaten national cohesion and represent a significant economic cost. In a context where our economy is diving into an unprecedented recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight against discrimination seems more necessary than ever. This struggle involves short term measures, like enhancing hiring subsidies for the most vulnerable populations, but also requires, as this Note shows, an ambitious long term policy to address the issue of discrimination as a whole.

Stéphane Carcillo and Marie Anne Valfort put forward several policy recommendations to effectively combat discrimination: increasing the duration of paternity leave, strengthening lifelong learning for seniors – especially in the second half of their career, and giving young people whose parents or grandparents were born abroad better chances to succeed. The fight against discrimination also entails making the threat of legal sanction credible, better training individuals on not discriminating (in school and in the workplace), and creating incentives for employers to implement good practices. This last objective involves measuring the situation of minority groups in private and public sector organisations. Finally, the authors recommend extending such data collection to national statistics.

This Note was presented in June 2020 to the offices of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Labour and the Secretary of State in charge of gender equality and the fight against discrimination. It was also presented to the Minister in charge of Urban Affairs and Housing and to the government spokeswoman.



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