'Alarming' discrimination at work

WORKPLACE discrimination levels in the city are 'alarming' and the most common form is ageism, according to a study by the Equal Opportunities Commision (EOC).

Researchers of the two-part study - the first of its kind commissioned by the EOC - carried out telephone interviews of 2,008 workers or job seekers, and also polled focus groups, employers and human resources professionals.

The median age of the phone respondents was 40 to 49 years. Of them, 18 percent claimed to have experienced discrimination or harassment when seeking a job or at work. Among these, 64 percent claimed the discrimination was age-related, while 21 percent said it was related to gender.

EOC policy and research committee convener John Tse Wing-Ling (謝永齡) called the workplace discrimination situation "alarming and too common".

Discrimination related to family status was reported by 14 percent, while 17 percent were sexually harassed and 11 percent felt they suffered for being new migrants. However, 94 percent of the respondents said they did not take any action as they felt their complaint would not be taken seriously.

EOC Policy and Research head Ferrick Chu Chung-man (朱崇文) said workplace discrimination affects staff morale, productivity and loyalty.

(The Standard, 5 September 2014)