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EDITORIAL

Labour code dodge keeps the closet firmly closed

THE GOVERNMENT has once again neatly avoided dealing with the Christian Democrats' (KDH) bigoted objections to introducing legislation to protect workers from being discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation.
The final wording of the labour code amendment fails to protect the rights of homosexuals, merely including the stipulation that employers cannot "investigate" the sexuality of employees.
And how is this going to be proved? Will an employer be acting illegally by inviting spouses to company events? The clause is unwieldy and unworkable.

THE GOVERNMENT has once again neatly avoided dealing with the Christian Democrats' (KDH) bigoted objections to introducing legislation to protect workers from being discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation.

The final wording of the labour code amendment fails to protect the rights of homosexuals, merely including the stipulation that employers cannot "investigate" the sexuality of employees.

And how is this going to be proved? Will an employer be acting illegally by inviting spouses to company events? The clause is unwieldy and unworkable.

It is just another example of the extent to which this government is prepared to appease the KDH to prevent it from breaking the coalition. This time it happened despite growing European Union impatience with Slovakia's lack of discrimination protection in its laws.

The effect of including all other minority groups in the labour code but excluding homosexuals is to keep Slovak gays "in the closet", and stop them from leading open, normal lives. This in itself is blatant discrimination.

The KDH's official view is that homosexual rights are protected within the constitution - an idea that has still not been tested - and that there is therefore no need to add protection in the labour law or in a separate anti-discrimination act.

If all minority groups are already protected by the constitution, then why include the further protection measures for certain groups in the labour code?

While the government has a slim majority of two in parliament - a majority even more fragile now that MP Anton Danko has left the coalition party ANO - it will continue to back down when it is held to ransom by the KDH. This will not be the last time before the next general election that a flawed law comes onto the statute books just to keep the government in power.

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