EC equal pay recommendations

The European Commission plans to use a series of measures aimed at significantly reducing the pay gap between men and women over the next five years. The average gender pay gap in the EU currently stands at 18%. To lower this rate, the Commission plans to raise awareness among employers, encourage initiatives to promote gender equality and support the development of tools to measure the gender pay gap. On the other hand, new legal measures are not excluded. The Commission intends to consult the European social partners and analyse the impact of a number of options: strengthening sanctions, providing pay transparency and regular reporting on the pay gap. A recent Euro barometer survey released shows that more than 80% of Europeans support urgent action to address the gap.

What do the recommendations say?

All member states are invited to adopt at national level a targeted strategy in a cross-cutting way the various causes of the gender pay gap, using a variety of legislative and non-legislative measures. The specific action points that relate directly to our work are:
(a) Regular measurement of the pay gap and analysis of its development, using indicators established at European level, as revised
(b) Promotion of pay transparency – (the paper does not define what is meant by transparency)
(c) Evaluation and neutral classification of jobs;
(d) Improvement of the quality of employment, to combat the imposition of insecure employment and part-time work;
(e) The elimination of vertical segregation,
(f) The elimination of horizontal segregation,
(g) Improvements in reconciling working life, family life and private life
(h) Adoption of appropriate policies on low pay
(i) Reinforcing the effective implementation of existing legislation to guarantee pay & workplace equality
(j) Highlighting the issue of pay and workplace equality between women and men in the context of corporate social responsibility; and
(k) Inclusion of equal pay for men and women as a condition to be fulfilled by tendering companies for the awarding of public contracts;

Download the recommendations.

Last Updated: 15 Sep 2011