by HRHQ Editorial team
Women in the European Union get paid 13% less than men doing the same job on average despite equal pay being part of EU law, the European Commission said this week.
The requirement to ensure equal pay is set out in the EU Directive on equal opportunities and treatment of men and women in employment. In March 2020, the Commission published its Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 setting out actions to close the gender pay gap, followed a few months later by the 2021-2025 Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in External Action.
The gender pay gap — the difference in average pay between men and women workers — has decreased by 2.8 percentage points over the last decade, but the Commission wants to speed this progress up.
“Equal pay for the same work or work of equal value is one of the founding principles of the EU. It was laid down in the Treaty of Rome in 1957,” the Commission said in a statement.
“Yet progress on the elimination of the gender pay gap is stagnant this year and has been slow over the years,” it said.
The Pay Transparency Directive entered into force on 6 June 2023. It sets a clear framework for the application of the concept of “work of equal value” and criteria that include skills, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. It helps workers to identify and challenge discrimination they may be victims of. The Directive also helps employers to assess whether in practice their pay structures do comply with the principle of equal pay. Member States have three years to transpose it into national law. The Directive will ensure that women and men in the EU receive equal pay for equal work. The European Commission intends to support the development of tools and methodologies for European employers to correct any unjustified gender pay differences. To that aim, the Commission is dedicating 6,1 million euros under the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme (CERV) to support the implementation of the Pay Transparency Directive in Member