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Active measures

Active measures are a method to prevent, counteract, and detect risks of all forms of discrimination.

Nina Wettergren avatar
Written by Nina Wettergren
Updated over a week ago

Active measures are a method to prevent, counteract, and detect risks of all forms of discrimination. Examples of the process involved in this work are as follows.

Why active measures?

All employers, big and small, need to work with active measures to counteract discrimination. The requirement for active measures is regulated by the Discrimination Act, replacing the previous requirement for an equality plan since 2017. Additionally, all employers need to promote gender balance, conduct an annual salary survey, and have guidelines and procedures for harassment, sexual harassment, and retaliation.

Organizations are influenced by their culture, values, and prevailing work environment. Investing time and resources to counteract discrimination and promote equal rights and opportunities enhances the attractiveness of the brand, the ability to recruit and retain the right expertise, the creativity and innovation of employees, and future profitability.

What are active measures?

Active measures are a method to prevent, counteract, and detect risks of all forms of discrimination. It means that discrimination doesn't have to have occurred, but rather, we work to ensure that it doesn't happen. The work should be based on the seven grounds of discrimination: gender, gender identity or expression, religion, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, and disability. It should be carried out systematically across five different areas:

  1. Working conditions

  2. Salaries and employment conditions

  3. Recruitment and promotion

  4. Competence development and education

  5. Work-life balance

What does the process look like?

The work with active measures is an ongoing process that should encompass the entire organization.

  1. The starting point of the work is the current situation report, which is generated by examining risks of discrimination within the aforementioned five areas based on all grounds of discrimination. Examples of methods for conducting this examination include surveys, interviews, review of policies and guidelines, as well as analysis and conclusions from the conducted salary survey.

  2. After the examination, the causes of identified risks and obstacles in the organization should be analyzed. Why do these risks exist? What measures are required to minimize these risks?

  3. In step three, you implement the necessary measures based on the examination and analysis. The measures should be concrete, feasible, and time-bound. Plan for the necessary resources and specify who is responsible for implementing the measures.

  4. The final step is to follow up and evaluate the examination, analysis, and measures. Once completed, the experiences gained from the work can be utilized in step one (examination) in the next cycle of active measures.

Don't forget to collaborate

The work should be carried out in collaboration with the employees. This is usually done through trade unions, but if that possibility doesn't exist, you need to consider how employees can be given the opportunity to collaborate. Collaboration with employees should continue throughout the entire process.

...or to document everything

Lastly, the work should be documented! It is a good idea to document continuously during the process to facilitate summarizing the work in a written report. Documentation requirements apply to organizations with more than 10 employees, and according to the Discrimination Act, the following questions should be answered:

  • How has the work been conducted? (The four steps within the five areas)

  • How has or will the employer work to prevent harassment, sexual harassment, and retaliation?

  • How has or will the employer work to promote gender balance?

  • How has the collaboration been carried out?


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