Discrimination found in Antwerp labour market when it comes to origin and age

Discrimination found in Antwerp labour market when it comes to origin and age
Credit: Yasmina/Unsplash

Discrimination when it comes to origin and age were found in the Antwerp Labour Market, according to research conducted under the direction of Professor Stijn Baert of the University of Ghent on behalf of the city of Antwerp.

Applicants with a non-Flemish sounding name are 17% less likely to receive a positive response on the Antwerp labour market. For older candidates this is 11%.

The results come from the baseline measurement of discrimination on the Antwerp job market, which Gazet van Antwerpen was able to inspect.

Researchers sent 2,880 fictitious letters of application for 1,440 vacancies between February 2020 and April 2021. Applicants were given certain characteristics regarding ethnicity, age, gender and sexual orientation in order to identify possible discrimination, not unlike the tests done for rental market discrimination, as in Leuven.

The vacancies were for jobs in the Antwerp territory or at companies whose headquarters are located in Antwerp.

The overall results found significant discrimination on the Antwerp labour market, mainly due to the unfavourable treatment of older applicants or candidates with a non-Flemish sounding name.

The latter received a positive response to 27.5% of their applications. With a Flemish-sounding name, that number was 33%.

Candidates with an immigrant background were also one fifth less likely to be invited for an interview immediately.

For applicants with a Moroccan or Slovakian name, a quarter of them experienced discrimination.

Among the vacancies for which at least one candidate received a positive response, researchers found ethnic discrimination in more than one in seven cases, a figure which rises to one in four if the person has a Moroccan or Slovakian name.

Age also plays a role. A candidate who is six to 12 years older than an opposing candidate receives one tenth fewer positive responses to the application letter.

Researchers said they could not determine any instances of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender.

The Brussels Times

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