Attendees at the session had the opportunity to learn more about practical ways of achieving equality in the business environment and to get instructions for easier drafting of a Code of Equality.
Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Janković presented the Code of Equality, a manual dedicated to employers that contains directives for creation and implementation of anti-discrimination policy in companies in Serbia. Assistant to the Commissioner, Tatjana Jokanović, emphasized that at the root of discrimination are stereotypes and prejudices.
Although anti-discrimination law is a young branch of law, our Anti-Discrimination Law is one of the most advanced in Europe. In the case of a complaint for discrimination, the Commissioner initiates a quasi-judicial procedure. The procedure is free, deprived of any formalities, and the only necessary condition is that the lawsuit must be signed.
The Commissioner is authorized to deliver opinions on laws and bylaws and to make recommendations to other public authorities for the substantiation of equality. In case of determining an act of discrimination, the Commissioner expresses an opinion and recommendation of the measure to the discriminator, with a deadline of 30 days from the day of delivery to act upon the recommendation and inform the Commissioner. If the discriminator fails to respond within the prescribed time limit, the Commissioner shall issue a decision on the warning, without the right to appeal, with a subsequent deadline of 30 days from the date of delivery. If even then the discriminator ignores the warning, the Commissioner informs the public of the disputed case. The percentage of implementation of the Commissioner's recommendation is over 85 per cent.
A professional team in the company adopts the code of equality. In case there are not enough professionals in the team of employees, the employer can always contact the responsible institution. The Employer can also contact the Commissioner at any stage of creating the Code.