What is the AGG?

The General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) is a German federal law intended to prevent or eliminate discrimination based on ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual identity. The general principle of equal treatment applies in its labor law part to employees and trainees of the private sector, but also to job applicants. The substantive scope of the AGG refers to the conditions of access to employment, as well as to career progression and continuing professional development, in relation to selection criteria and recruitment conditions. Employment and working conditions, including pay and dismissals, are also protected by law.

How are people protected by the AGG and what does is mean for Recruiting or HR consultants?

The AGG prevents a person from being disadvantaged by a less favorable treatment compared to another person in a comparable situation. But even seemingly neutral rules, measures, criteria or procedures can be subject to legal claims if they have a de facto discriminatory effect. Of course, employees are also protected by law when being harassed by violation of their dignity e.g. in a working environment with intimidation, hostility, humiliation or insults.

In recruitment consultancy, the AGG has manifold impact, like the formulation of a job description, the identification of selection criteria for addressing candidates through Direct Search or the recommended selection of candidates to the customer, just to name a few areas. Anti-discrimination aspects play an essential role also in the area of HR Consulting like organizational and team development, talent management and in the area of coaching.

By Klaus Mayerhanser

Executive Search Consultant for Telecommunications, IT & Consumer Electronics

Klaus Mayerhanser is a founding partner and Managing Director of DELTACON Executive Search. With his team, he is responsible for the telecommunications, information technology and consumer electronics sectors and heads our office in Munich. In addition to his Executive Search Consulting activities, he has ten years of operational management experience in sales and marketing functions within the ICT industry.