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Study: Employers avoid Roma

FIRMS are more interested in people who do not have typical Roma names, according to an experiment conducted by the Financial Policy Institute (IFP) of the Finance Ministry.

Erik Gunár, then a 20-year-old Roma student had such an experience as he told The Slovak Spectator in October 2013 that he sought a job as an administrative worker with a pharmaceutical company, but during the first phone call he was asked: “Are you Roma or are you not?” After he confirmed his Roma ethnicity the person on the other side of phone started to list reasons why her firm could not hire him.

“I turned the phone off immediately and did not want to talk with her any more,” Gunár said.
An unemployed Roma has a 50-percent lower chance that a firm will invite him for a job interview than his or her counterpart from majority who is equally qualified, according to an experiment part of an IFP study of unemployment in Slovakia published on November 17.

“The results of the experiment show statistically significant discrimination of Roma by employers,” the study reads.

The experiment was conducted from July to September; the institute sent 124 job requests for 62 jobs positions of six unreal persons whose names were intentionally picked to show their Roma or non-Roma descent. Over three months, 66 responses came and 36 of them invited the persons to a job interview, according to IFP study.

More than 40 percent of fake non-Roma job applicants were invited to a job interview while less than 18 percent of Roma applicants succeeded. Furthermore, just 37 percent of Roma applicants received at least some form of an answer, while 69 percent of applications from non-Roma virtual persons received one.

“This implies that Roma job applicants face additional barriers to employment on the labour market in comparison with the majority population,” the study says, adding that differences are significantly higher in cases of people with higher education.

It is hard to quantify discrimination and there is a lack of data; therefore, IFP employees decided to do the experiment themselves, the project’s authors Libor Melioris and Branislav Zudela told the Sme daily, adding that if Roma unemployment reached the level of majority the total unemployment rate in Slovakia would decrease to 11 percent. The average unemployment rate has been 14.5 percent for the last 20 years, according to the study.

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Theme: Roma community


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