March 12, 2021
The European Commission has published a plan “to strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms.”
According to the Commission: “Lack of pay transparency is one of the key obstacles to enforcing [the right to equal pay]. It stops workers from knowing how their pay, on average, compares to that of their colleagues of the other sex doing equal work or work of equal value. This puts them in a position where they lack information on whether they are remunerated in accordance with the right to equal pay.”
“[W]ithout pay transparency, employers do not necessarily review their payrolls,” the Commission continues, “nor check if their pay systems and job grading do not omit the valuation of relevant skills (e.g., in the service economy). Lack of pay transparency thus creates a grey zone favoring the perpetuation of gender bias in the setting of salaries.”
The plan has little to say on other possible changes to employment and labor law, beyond what was already known. The initiatives on a European minimum wage; collective bargaining rights for solo self-employed workers; the employment conditions of gig economy workers; and issues around teleworking and the right to disconnect have already seen the light of day.
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