France – Association of employment agencies reacts to the issue of discrimination in recruitment companies

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12 October 2021

Prism’Emploi, the French association of employment agencies, issued a statement on reports that French activists denounced racial discrimination within a group of large French recruitment companies.

Anti-racist activists in France have called a number of recruiting companies posing as a construction company that only wants to hire European workers and said more than a third of the companies have agreed to help. SOS Racisme, an anti-discrimination group, last week broadcast audio recordings of some of the calls made in May to 69 temporary work agencies in Ile-de-France.

He revealed that 39% of those called agreed to eliminate people for racial reasons. The remaining 6% also refused to select candidates racially, but suggested that the fictitious company do it itself.

In an announcement yesterday, Prism’Emploi said: “Indeed, Prism’Emploi would like to remind you that diversity and inclusion are at the heart of the values ​​and actions of our branch. Discriminatory behavior in hiring is illegal, in contradiction with our Constitution and the fundamental principles of the Republic, and also constitutes a brake on professional integration and economic absurdity.

“Our branch agreement, signed in 2007, aims to promote diversity in companies in the temporary work sector by training their permanent employees so that they in turn raise awareness among client companies. The agreement aims to prevent any form of discrimination at all levels, ”says the association.

“Following on from this 2007 agreement, Prism’emploi has taken numerous measures. This is evidenced by the signing of a partnership agreement with the HALDE in 2007, the signing in 2013 of the Charter of Employment Intermediaries of the Defender of Rights, and the numerous awareness-raising operations carried out among its members, in particular with the formalization of a guide for recruitment without discrimination in 2019. A very strong commitment to the integration of refugees is made through the HOPE program. Practical tools are distributed to members in this regard, ”adds Prism’Emploi.

“Under these conditions, challenged by the alarming results of this” test “operation, Prism’emploi asks all of its members to carry out an in-depth inventory of their respective networks and very quickly take all the necessary measures to put implementing these behaviors that are contrary to the law from start to finish “,

Prism’emploi added that it would send a summary note to all of its members in the coming days and set up a dedicated Commission.

Among the companies that performed poorly on the discrimination test were subsidiaries of Randstad, ManpowerGroup, Groupe Crit, Synergie, Proman, Ergalis, Morgan Service and Supplay. Proman and Ergalis both recorded the highest rates (67% each) of affiliates who agreed to discriminate. At Manpower, Randstad, Supplay and Crit, between 30 and 40% of the offices contacted agreed to discriminate.

Proman responded to reports of discrimination.

“This is simply unacceptable,” said Roland Gomez, CEO of Proman. “We have always made it a point of honor to ensure that everyone’s fundamental rights are respected. The instructions are clear. We cultivate the difference of each of our temporary workers in terms of age, sex, ethnic origin or professional background to increase the wealth of our teams. And actions are linked. In one month, our Parisian construction agencies have employed 44 different nationalities. So if there is a breach of this principle, even if it is isolated, I will take immediate measures.

Randstad France also issued a statement in response to the discrimination tests.

“We recognize the results of the SOS Racism tests and we deeply regret the inadequate responses of some of our employees who are in total contradiction with the commitments and values ​​of our company,” said the group. “Providing everyone with equal opportunities for lasting employment regardless of their age, origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, personal or religious convictions has been at the heart of the Randstad Group’s actions and societal commitment since over 15 years. Our goal is to provide the talents we support in employment with the most suitable job offers based solely on their skills.

“Randstad Group contacted SOS Racisme for additional information[s] and undertakes to audit its practices and strengthen its training actions in order to fight more effectively against all forms of discrimination in employment ”, declared the group.

ManpowerGroup France also responded to a request from Staffing Industry Analysts.

A spokesperson said: “ManpowerGroup is an anti-racist organization and this behavior is totally unacceptable. We are deeply saddened by these accusations and pledge to conduct a full internal investigation and take appropriate action to strengthen our zero tolerance policy. All of our employees are required to complete mandatory anti-discrimination training which explains how to handle discriminatory requests such as these. During our investigation, we also immediately activated a range of anti-discrimination and inclusion awareness-raising communications and trainings throughout our French company, led by our executive management We will continue to work in working closely with our industry associations in our leadership capacity on this important issue. “

On Friday, the Secretary of State in charge of gender equality and the fight against discrimination, Elisabeth Moreno, announced that she “will soon bring together at the ministry the main groups cited by this survey … .. to discuss these proven facts of discrimination as well as the actions they will take to remedy it and promote diversity ”.

Recruitment industry analysts have contacted all of the named companies, including Synergie, but the companies have yet to respond. The fact that these actions are illegal may be the reason for the reluctance of these companies to publicly respond to the charges. that their continued silence will exacerbate an already difficult situation.

The companies involved all have explicit anti-discrimination rhetoric in their corporate social responsibility statements and / or codes of ethics. Failures at the branch level therefore represent a catastrophic failure of the training and the process.

Embarrassingly, Randstad and ManpowerGroup also violated the Code of Conduct of the World Employment Confederation, of which they are both members, which states that “private employment services shall treat workers without discrimination on the basis of race. , color, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction, social origin or any other form of unlawful and unethical discrimination covered by national law and practice, such as age or disability ”.


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