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Accueil > Pologne > Droit et religion > Dispositions > Travail > L’égalité dans l’emploi (en matière de religion ou de croyance)

L’égalité dans l’emploi (en matière de religion ou de croyance)

The Constitution prohibits discrimination (art. 32 “No one shall be discriminated against in political, social or economic life for any reason whatsoever”). The general principle of non-discrimination was introduced in the provisions of the Labour Code (Act of 26 June 1974, revised on 21 November 2008), in order to implement the EU directives pertaining to equal treatment : the EU Council Directive no. 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000, and the EU Council Directive no. 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000.

The Labour Code (Section IIa, Equal treatment in employment) prohibits any direct or indirect discrimination in employment on the grounds of sex, age, disability, race, nationality, and political or religious convictions. Workplace harassment based on religion is illegal.
The religious organizations enjoy certain exemptions from the scope of the legislation on equal treatment. However, exceptions can only be made if there is a genuine occupational requirement for the worker to be of a particular religion or belief in order to do the job or to comply with the ethos based on religion. Similarly, the provisions prohibiting discrimination in employment do not apply when selecting the employee if the type or nature of the business run by churches or other organizations makes religion or belief a real and decisive occupational requirement.

In 2001, a Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment (document in Polish) was appointed in Poland. His responsibilities include promoting, initiating, or coordinating the implementation of governmental programmes aimed at countering discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, convictions, age and sexual orientation. The plenipotentiary cooperates with international organizations which establish the standards for equal treatment and monitor the situation in order to counter discrimination.

In September 1990, the Supreme Court (case I PRN 38/90) in a case of discrimination against religious people in the workplace emphasized that “the employee is obliged to follow the instructions of his supervisor concerning the duties in the workplace (Article 100 of the Labour Code). This does not affect the rights of an employee who refuses to remove a cross hanging in his public workplace” (in this case it was a public hospital). This important decision stands for the proposition that the employer should not intervene in the religious beliefs of an employee.

For more information, see STANISZ Piotr, "Law and relgion in the workplace : Poland" in RODRÍGUEZ BLANCO Miguel (ed.), Law and religion in the workplace, Proceedings of the XXVIIth annual conference of the European Consortium for Church and State Research, Alcalá de Henares, 12-15 November 2015, Granada, Comares, December 2016, p. 313-326.

21 janvier 2014