French anti-racism working group opposes anonymous CVs

Anti-racist protesters in Paris
Anti-racist protesters in Paris Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

A government-sponsored working group has opposed imposing anonymous CVs to avoid racism in job recruitment in France. Anti-racist groups claim that the idea was vetoed by bosses' organisations.


A 2006 law actually introduced anonymous CVs for job applications to companies with more than 50 employees but the decree enforcing the requirement was never issued and the measure has been left in abeyance.

The Socialist government set up a working group of unions, anti-racist campaigns and employers to discuss how to fight racial discrimination in the workplace and it is to give its conclusions to the government on Tuesday.

The majority of the group's members called for dropping of compulsory anonymous CVs, according to the AFP news agency, which has seen a copy of the report.

They argued that it would add to costs, could lead to unintended results and would infringe companies freedom of choice.

But the report acknowledges that this was the most contentious question discussed and anti-racist group, La Maison des Potes, told AFP that it was only employers' organisations that opposed it.

The working group did propose a new appeals procedure, although some employers' representatives opposed that, too.

The head of the bosses' union Medef, Pierre Gattaz, on Monday claimed it would open a "Pandora's box".

"Problems must be solved inside companies and not with an enormous pneumatic drill that will once again terrorise and bully entrepreneurs," he said.

Other proposals include:

  • An ombudsman to handle allegations of discrimination in companies of more than 300 employees;
  • A national campaign against racist stereotypes;
  • Compulsory racial awareness training;
  • Improvements in examining cases;
  • Companies' records in combating discrimination to be taken into account in awarding public-sector contracts.



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