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EU gender pay gap

EU average gender pay gap 13% – Slow improvement over 10 years

Women in the European Union still earn less than men for equal jobs. The average gender pay gap in the EU is 13%. This means that for every €1 a man earns, a woman will make €0.87. The gap has only been reduced with 2.8 percentage points over 10 years, according to EU statistics. The 2022 European Equal Pay Day falls on 15 November.

“We call on the European Parliament and the Council to adopt our proposed Pay Transparency Directive without undue delay”, Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency and Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality, say in a statement prior to the Equal Pay Day.

“Transparency contributes towards ending gender bias in pay from the outset and empowers workers to enforce their right to equal pay for the same work or work of equal value.”

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“Equal work deserves equal pay: this is a founding principle of the European Union. Solving the injustice of the gender pay gap cannot come without change to the structural imbalances in society. That is why this Commission doubled down efforts on gender equality and the root causes of pay inequality.”

“We count on the Member States to up their game on accessible, affordable, and high-quality early childhood education and long-term care – a prerequisite to support women’s participation in the labour market.”

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The European Parliament has approved of the Commission’s proposal for pay transparency and even made some points stricter than in the original proposal. Next step is that the Parliament and the European Council together have to agree on rules.

The Parliament has approved the following:

  • Companies to be obliged to report on gender pay gap
  • Pay secrecy in work contracts to be prohibited
  • Gender action plan to be developed when pay gap is higher than 2.5%
  • EU companies with at least 50 employees should be fully transparent regarding pay, and MEPs want them to tackle any potential gender pay gap.
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“MEPs demand EU companies with at least 50 employees (instead of 250 as originally proposed) be required to disclose information that makes it easier for those working for the same employer to compare salaries and expose any existing gender pay gap in their organisation. Tools to assess and compare pay levels should be based on gender-neutral criteria and include gender-neutral job evaluation and classification systems”, the Parliament said.

If pay reporting shows a gender pay gap of at least 2.5% (versus the 5%proposed by the Commission), member states would need to ensure employers, in cooperation with their workers’ representatives, conduct a joint pay assessment and develop a gender action plan.

MEPs want the Commission to create a dedicated official label to award to employers whose organisations do not have a gender pay gap.

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