Protection against discrimination


Lived diversity and tolerance are part of the DNA of companies - no new regulations are needed for this.

Steffen Kampeter, BDA Managing Director

Diversity and an environment free of discrimination contribute to job satisfaction and thus to the motivation of employees. Only the appreciation of each and every individual ensures that all existing talents can develop and unfold in the best possible way. The employer's conscious commitment to a working environment free of discrimination is therefore not only a question of decency and compliance with legal requirements, but also a question of economic sense.

We understand a discrimination-free environment as a task for society as a whole, which is about the inner attitude that gives rise to the promotion of diversity and protection against discrimination. The right way to increase diversity and protection against discrimination is through education and awareness-raising. Through close cooperation between management, executives and all employees, changes can be made tangible.

Coercive measures and ever stricter legal control mechanisms do not help to change inner attitudes. Legal requirements are no guarantee of a discrimination-free environment. Since its introduction, the AGG has also led to new legal uncertainty and additional costs for companies. Due to the interpretation of the distribution of the burden of presentation and proof in case law, the documentation burdens have increased significantly.

The BDA will therefore continue to advocate maintaining scope for a social climate of openness and tolerance that does not rely on fear of punishment by means of further social regulation, but on clever arguments and positive experiences. Especially in times of the pandemic, when we are facing enormous challenges, new legal restrictions would be poison for the resurgence of the economy.

Diversity management in companies

Diversity measures are a sign of the corporate philosophy with symbolic power to the outside world and thus contribute to the success of the company. For example, the BDA is involved in the employer initiative "Diversity Charter", which promotes diversity in companies and institutions, is represented on the advisory board of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, actively implements the ESF social partner guideline for the promotion of equality and also participates in the BMFSFJ dialogue forums on sexism in the workplace. The BDA produces fact sheets for its members and continuously evaluates current case law.

Dangerous extension of the AGG

The AGG has an incentive function for so-called "AGG hoppers" who specifically look for errors in job advertisements in order to be rejected and then claim compensation. They are not concerned with the conclusion of a contract. They want to sue alone unjustified compensations. This approach is an abuse of rights and, according to European case law, does not fall within the scope of protection of the anti-discrimination directives.

Remuneration Transparency Act meets EU requirements

Employees can demand information about the pay of their colleagues of the opposite sex in accordance with the Pay Transparency Act. Against the background of the bureaucratic burden that already exists, further tightening of the Remuneration Transparency Act would be a wrong course to take. We will not achieve more careers and more pay for women with a right to information, regulations on auditing procedures or reporting obligations, but with a needs-based expansion of childcare, stereotype-free career orientation and other incentives in family policy benefits.

Quota regulations not expedient

Statutory quotas and targets miss the point of the reasons for the different proportions of the sexes. Companies are already doing everything in their power, out of their own interest, to promote their employees at all levels. However, if suitable female or gender-diverse employees are not willing to fill a corresponding position, quota regulations do not help, despite all diversity strategies, but only create justification effort.

17. November 2020

Protection against discrimination