Last checked: 23/05/2022

Equal treatment at work

As an EU citizen you are entitled to equal treatment in recruitment, working conditions, promotion, pay, access to vocational training, occupational pensions and dismissal. Discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of age, sex, disability, ethnic or racial origin, religion or belief, or sexual orientation is banned across the EU in both the public and private sector.

As an EU national, you must also be treated in exactly the same way as your local colleagues who are citizens of the country when it comes to working rights, social benefits and access to public employment services. However, your host country may decide to withhold your entitlement to income support — or other benefits — for the first 3 months of your residence (for example if you came as a seasonal worker, worked 1 month and then applied for income support), and for even longer if you arrive in the country as a job-seeker.

What types of discrimination are you protected against?

Check types of discrimination

Reasonable accommodation

If you have a disability, you may need adjustments to your job or workplace to perform and to advance in job functions or undertake training. In that case, you can request that your employer takes reasonable steps to accommodate your condition. Such steps can apply to all work-related activities, from the job application process to termination, working conditions and fringe benefits.

How to enforce your rights

If you believe that you have been discriminated against, you can bring your case to a national equality bodyOpen as an external link. Some may simply provide you with useful information regarding your situation, while others can help you make a complaint. They may even, with your approval, take your case to the competent courts.

Depending on the national legislation, you may be entitled to compensation, reinstatement in a job, or an order requiring the employer to remedy the discrimination and provide reasonable accommodation.

You can also contact organisations such as trade unions, NGOs and lawyers ​for help and advice.

Get access to national information below.

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See also: 

How to put reasonable accommodation into practice – guide of promising practicesOpen as an external link


EU legislation

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