No More Double Standard: Agreement Reached to Fight Against Gender Pay Gap in the EU
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
On 15 December, 2022 the European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on the Directive on pay transparency measures as part of the effort to narrow the gender pay gap within the EU. (European Commission, 2022A)
Despite the fight for equality between women and men in all spheres of the society remain a pressing issue, the agreement represents a further step to implement the principle of equal pay for equal work which too many times is violated in breach of EU treaties. (Ellena, 2022) Indeed, according to data presented by the EU, “the gender employment gap stood at 10.8% in 2021, with 67.7 % of women across the EU being employed compared to 78.5% of men”. (European Commission, n.d.) Despite the number of discriminations women face in the workplace are not limited to pay gaps, the fight to achieve more transparency is crucial to uncover unjustified gender-based pay differences and empower victims to demand their rights. According to the recent agreement, companies employing 100+ individuals must disclose a gender pay gap above 5%, ensure a gender neutral recruitment process and employees’ access to key documents in accordance with the ban on pay secrecy. (European Commission, n.d.)
As Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency and Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality recalled “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… We need to empower women so that they can fulfill their potential” because “ Everyone benefits, when all are equal.” (European Commission, 2022)
Sources and Further Readings:
European Commission (n.d.), The gender pay gap situation in the EU, EU Commission, retrieved on December 20, 2022, from https://commission.europa.eu/strategy-and-policy/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/gender-equality/equal-pay/gender-pay-gap-situation-eu_en.
European Commission (November 14, 2022), Equal Pay Day: Pay Transparency essential to close the EU gender pay gap of 13%, EU Commission, retrieved on December 20, 2022, from https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/STATEMENT_22_6894.
European Commission (November 15, 2022A), Commission welcomes the political agreement on new EU rules for pay transparency, EU Commission, retrieved on December 20, 2022, from https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_7739.
- Ellena (December 15, 2022), EU agrees on pay transparency rules to fight gender pay gap, EURACTIVE, retrieved on December 20, 2022, from https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/eu-agrees-on-pay-transparency-rules-to-fight-gender-pay-gap/