|Author (Person)||Banks, Martin|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.45, 6.12.01, p3|
OMBUDSMAN Jacob Söderman is stepping up pressure on the Commission over alleged sex discrimination against member state officials working for the institution.
The executive insists that staff seconded to it from national governments must work full-time. But Söderman says this discriminates against women seeking part-time positions. He has now taken the rare step of sending a special report to the European Parliament in the hope that increased political pressure will force the Commission to change its policy.
The issue was brought to Söderman's attention by a UK civil servant, Caroline Potter, who wanted to work four days a week so she could have more time with her 11-month-old son. However she was told her application for secondment would only be considered if she took a post full-time.
Söderman had asked the Commission to stop recruitment discrimination by September at the latest, but the Commission said it could not meet the deadline because of the "ongoing reform process".
The Ombudsman insists there is "no valid reason" why the rules should not be changed.
"Almost a year after the Charter of Fundamental Rights was proclaimed any further delay in putting the matter right is unacceptable," he added.
The Commission employs about 200 seconded national experts, each working for a maximum of three years.
Of its regular staff who work part time, 82 are women.
European Ombudsman Jacob Söderman is stepping up pressure on the Commission over alleged sex discrimination against Member State officials working for the institution.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|