Non-discrimination, inclusion & Contribution to society

What is discrimination?

All people have the right to be respected for who they are. There are seven legal grounds for discrimination:

  1. ethnicity
  2. gender
  3. age
  4. sexual orientation
  5. religion or other belief
  6. disability
  7. gender identity, or gender expression

Discriminating a person in a work environment can be criminal.

How can the textile service industry work against discrimination?

In many cases, the textile service industry offers jobs for people who are establishing themselves in society or have various types of disabilities. As an industry, we are proud to contribute to a safe working environment, where everyone feels respected and feels good.

In the textile service industry, we have zero tolerance for discrimination and encourage you who feel victimized or see or hear that someone is being victimized to raise this with the manager, ombudsman or the union, so that this ceases.

In Sweden, all employers with more than 50 employees must have an internal whistleblower function since the 17th of December 2023. Employees, volunteers, interns, consultants, and shareholders must be able to turn to the whistleblower function to report wrongdoing – without risk of reprisals.

Why is inclusion important?

All people need to feel included to be safe and feel good. Every year, around 1,000 people are treated so badly at their workplace that it is reported as a work-related injury to the Swedish Work Environment Authority. Around 100 people a year are feared to feel so bad that they commit suicide.

Adult bullying exists, can have terrible consequences for the victim, and should never be accepted or normalized.

How can the textile service industry contribute to inclusion?

All employers have a responsibility for a good working environment – including psychosocially. If you are affected and feel that the situation is not resolved by clearly speaking out, you should talk to your boss, an ombudsman or the union.
It is very common for the person who is affected to feel ashamed, which makes them shy away from addressing the problem. However, you who are affected are not to blame and bullying can affect anyone.

It is also common for bullying to be initiated by one or a few people, while many more know about it and choose not to act to stop it. As a bystander to bullying, you can make a huge contribution by showing that you don’t think it’s ok, or raise the situation yourself with the manager or ombudsman at the workplace so that they see to it that this ends.

Case: Case Learning a language at work

The textile service industry is a personnel-intensive and important industry that offers job opportunities without the requirement of further education or extensive experience.

Surveys* have shown that of all the unemployed who are employed in the laundry industry in Sweden, almost 40% are immigrants from Asia or Africa. That is significantly more than other industries.

The report confirms that we as an industry are good at recruiting and employing people who might otherwise have difficulty entering the labor market. Here we take advantage of what people can do rather than what they can’t.

Source: Handels Forskningsinstitut 2018:05 Vilka företag bryter utanförskapet bland utrikesfödda?

Case: Hire without prejudice

Magnus Berger works in the IT department at Danish Textilia. Before being hired, he completed a 10-week internship. Magnus has autism and needs a quiet work environment and a smaller team to work in. During his internship, Magnus showed that he can contribute to the business and was immediately offered employment.

The introduction of Magnus had a particular focus on social relations. Initially, Magnus had a contact person, and then this has developed over time – a way of introduction that can suit people with autism.

By hiring without prejudice, listening and exploring new ways to introduce new hires to the organisation, the textile services industry can provide enormous security and professional pride to people who might otherwise struggle to find their place in professional life.


Read more here.

You are part of something bigger

Work is an important path to integration and meaningful everyday life for people who are putting down roots in a new country.

Elis in Ockebo has collaborated with Svenska För Invandrare – SFI. Newly arrived students from different countries were invited to practice at Elis while taking part in language courses. Students who participated in the course were then offered summer jobs at Elis and several of them got employment after the summer job.

Close collaboration with the municipality and committed supervisors among the employees at Elis Ockelbo during the internship and summer job was one of the key factors for success.


Image: Unsplash

Quiz – What have we learned about Non-discrimination, inclusion & Contribution to society?

What are legal grounds for discrimination?

Correct! Wrong!

Can discriminating a person in a work environment be criminal?

Correct! Wrong!