National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal

The National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal is an impartial and independent judicial body appointed by the Government. The Tribunal supervises compliance with the Non-Discrimination Act and the Act on Equality between Women and Men (Equality Act) both in private activities and in public administrative and commercial activities.

However, the mandate of the Tribunal does not cover matters related to private life, family life or practice of religion.

The function of the Tribunal is to give legal protection to those who consider they have been discriminated against or victimised.

Matters relating to the activities of the Finnish parliament may be submitted to the Tribunal for consideration only if the matter concerns the activities of the Parliament or one of its organs as public authority or employer.

The supervision carried out by the Tribunal does not cover the activities of the President of the Republic, the government plenary session, the courts of law and other judicial bodies, the Chancellor of Justice and the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

If a case concerning a prohibition on discrimination has been or is to be taken up by another authority, the Tribunal may not investigate it.

The Tribunal may prohibit continued or repeated discrimination or victimisation and impose a conditional fine to enforce compliance with its injunctions and order payment of such a fine.

The Tribunal may oblige the party concerned to take measures within a reasonable period of time in order to fulfil the obligations under the Non-Discrimination Act.

The Tribunal may not order any compensation to be paid.

A decision issued by the Tribunal may be appealed to the competent Administrative Court.

The Tribunal considers petitions free of charge and there are no service fees. However, the parties concerned are liable for any other legal costs.

Supervision

1. Non-Discrimination Act

The person being discriminated or, with his or her consent, the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman or an association promoting non-discrimination may submit a matter to the Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal for consideration.

The Tribunal may confirm a conciliation settlement between the parties.

2. Equality Act (Act on Equality between Women and Men)

Only the Ombudsman for Equality or a central organization of employers’ associations or of central labour market organisation may submit a matter falling under the scope of the Equality Act to the Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal for consideration.

In its duty to supervise compliance with the Equality Act, the Tribunal is competent to consider certain matters related to working life.

The Ombudsman for Equality or a central organization of employers’ associations or of central labour market organisation may submit a matter involving an action contrary to the provisions in sections 7, 8, 8a-8e or 14 of the Equality Act to the Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal for consideration.

The Ombudsman for Equality may submit a matter involving an action contrary to the provisions in sections 5a and 6a of the Equality Act to the Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal for the purposes of the procedure referred to in section 21(4) of the Equality Act.

Opinions and statements

1. Interpretation of the Non-Discrimination Act

The courts, the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman and other authorities as well as associations promoting non-discrimination may request a statement from the Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal in matters that are significant with regard to the interpretation of the Non-Discrimination Act.

The occupational safety and health authorities may request a statement from the Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal on the interpretation and application of the Non-Discrimination Act.

However, the Tribunal may not give a statement on the interpretation of the Non-Discrimination Act in matters that fall within the competence of the occupational safety and health authorities or involve interpretation of collective agreements.

2. Interpretation of the Equality Act

A court may request an opinion from the Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal on the application of sections 7, 8, 8a-8e and 14 of the Equality Act in matters that are important with regard to the objectives of the Equality Act.

Decisions concerning the planning obligation

The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman may submit matters concerning the obligation of authorities and education providers to prepare a plan to promote equality as provided in sections 5 and 6 of the Non-Discrimination Act to the Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal for consideration.

The Ombudsman for Equality may submit matters concerning the obligation of employers and educational institutions to prepare a gender equality plan as provided in sections 5a and 6a of the Equality Act to the Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal for consideration.

Submitting a petition to the Tribunal

A written petition to the Discrimination and Equality Tribunal must state:

•the name and the place of domicile of the petitioner
•the contact details of the petitioner's legal representative or agent, if he or she has one
•the address to which summonses, requests and notices concerning the case can be sent
•the names and contact details of the other parties
•the specific claim of the petitioner
•the detailed facts and grounds on which this claim is based
•the details of any other authority that is currently examining the petitioner's case
•the name and contact details of the alleged discriminator

It is recommended that the application is signed by the petitioner or by the person who prepares the application.

If the petitioner uses an agent, the power of attorney authorising the agent to act on behalf of the petitioner must be submitted to the Tribunal. The power of attorney must be signed by the petitioner.

The petition and the power of attorney may also be submitted by secure email. An electronic petition does not have to be signed, if the document includes sender information and there is no uncertainty about the originality or integrity of the document. If the electronic petition delivered to the Tribunal by secure email includes a clarification of the authority of the agent, the agent does not have to deliver a power of attorney.


Contact details of the Tribunal:

NATIONAL NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUALITY TRIBUNAL OF FINLAND
P.O. BOX 27
FI-00023 GOVERNMENT

TEL. 029 5150 159
E-mail address: yvtltk(at)oikeus.fi

If you need advice and assistance in preparing a petition to the Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal, you may contact the offices of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman or the Ombudsman for Equality.

The customer service number of the Office of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman is

+358 (0)295 666 817 (weekdays from 10 to 12).

E-mail: yvv(at)oikeus.fi

The customer service number of the Office of the Ombudsman for Equality is

+ 358 (0)295 666 842 Mon-Thu 9-11 and 13-15, Fri 9-11).

E-mail: tasa-arvo(at)oikeus.fi

Also the state legal aid offices or an advocate may assist in preparing a petition.

Contact details of the legal aid offices

Public Legal Aid Offices

The Finnish Bar Association


 
Published 19.11.2018