On July 1st last year an amendment was made to the law against discrimination, specifically banning gender discrimination. This has led to a rapid rise in the number of incidents reported by men, who were previously under-represented.
Of 56 cases reported under the new amendment, 45 concerned complaints made by men. Added to a series of complaints under the previous legislation, Jämo is now handling a total of 82 incidents reported by men in 2005, compared to just 23 the year before.
The complaints include different age restrictions for men and women for entry into bars and higher prices for dating services.
13 complaints concern Sweden’s social services, labour market policies and unemployment benefits. However, none of them has yet been brought before the courts.
In total, Jämo received 235 reports of discrimination last year under the three laws which the ombudsman is responsible for supervising.
171 of those complaints were made with reference to equality legislation. 65 incidents concerned employment conditions, usually salary. That is a marked increase on the year before when only 36 such matters were reported.
Most cases still centre on women who are dissatisfied with wage differences in their workplace.
The next largest category, with 55 complaints in 2005, deals with companies’ recruitment procedures.
Trial periods cut short, dismissals and transfers accounted for 27 complaints, which included cases of women who were not able to return to continue their work due to pregnancy.
Jämo closed 197 cases last year. In 79 of those the conclusion was that there was no discrimination – or no evidence of it.
Four cases were brought before the labour courts. Jämo won three of those and lost a case where a female employee of the army claimed to have been bullied by her colleagues.