The research provides information on discrimination in working life. The research material is comprised of information on supervision activities from four regional Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorates during the period 01.01.2008-30.08.2009. The material pertains to cases of work discrimination, harassment or other inappropriate treatment in which one or more prohibited grounds of discrimination were recognisable. Altogether 198 such cases were found. One or more natural persons were victims in 103 cases. Altogether there were 127 natural persons. In addition, there were 95 cases which pertained to discriminating job advertisements.

Ethnic or national background or nationality (32 %) and health (32 %) were two of the most common grounds of discrimination in work discrimination cases. In 38 percent of the cases, discrimination occurred as redundancies or lay-offs. Discrimination in wages, working hours or working conditions was the second most common (34 %) type of occurrence.

Out of the natural persons, 60 per cent were female. The most experiences of discrimination were amongst people in age groups 25-34 year-olds 62 (32 %) and 35-44 year-olds (24 %). Altogether 21 per cent of discrimination experiences were amongst people in the age group 45-54 year-olds and 16 per cent in the age group over 55 year-olds.

The research discloses that work discrimination is notably more common in the private sector than in the public sector. Altogether 86 per cent of the cases took place in the private sector. The majority (91 %) of these cases occurred during employment or service. Only 11 per cent of the cases concerned discrimination in recruitment.

The following four points sum up the key findings of the research: 1) there is a need for additional data about discrimination in recruitment, 2) there is an apparent need for lowering the threshold of access to legal remedies in cases of discrimination in recruitment, 3) it is important to raise awareness about anti-discrimination legislation and the rules of working life amongst the employers and employees of immigrant background, 4) there is a need to effectively intervene in discrimination experienced by pregnant women inter alia by raising awareness of their rights and improving their access to legal remedies.