Pay transparency: MEPs support mandatory measures | news

On Thursday, the women’s rights and employment committees adopted with 65 votes in favour, 16 against and 10 abstentions their position on the European Commission’s proposal for a wage transparency directive.

MEPs are calling for companies in the EU with at least 50 employees (instead of the originally proposed 250) to be required to disclose information that makes it easier for people working for the same employer to compare wages and identify any discrepancies in wages. wages between genders within an organization. Tools for assessing and comparing pay levels should be based on gender-neutral criteria and include gender-neutral job evaluation and classification systems.

If the pay report shows a gender pay gap of at least 2.5% (compared to 5% in the original proposal), Member States will need to ensure that employers, in cooperation with their employee representatives, carry out a joint assessment of remuneration. and draw up a gender equality action plan.

The European Commission should create a special official badge to be awarded to employers whose company does not have a gender pay gap, MEPs add.

Prohibit secrecy of reward

According to the text, workers and their representatives should have the right to receive clear and complete information on the level of individual and average wages, disaggregated by sex. MEPs are also proposing to ban pay secrecy through measures to ban contract clauses that prevent workers from disclosing their pay or requesting information about the same category of workers’ wages or other categories.

Shift the burden of proof

MEPs support the proposal of the European Commission to shift the burden of proof. Where an employee believes that the principle of equal pay has not been applied and goes to court, national law should oblige the employer to prove non-discrimination.

Quotes from speakers

Samira Rafaela (Renew Europe, The Netherlands), Member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, said: “Today we have taken another step towards closing the gender pay gap in Europe. In Parliament, we have tried to find the right balance between guaranteeing the right to information for working women and limiting unnecessary burdens for companies. This way we can make equal pay for equal work a reality for as many women as possible in Europe.”

Kira Marie Peter-Hansen (Greens/EFA, Denmark), Member of the Committee for Employment and Social Affairs, said: “With this directive, we take an important step towards gender equality and highlight the issue of wage inequality. This is not only a strong signal that we will no longer tolerate gender pay discrimination, but also a set of tools to help Member States and employers close the gender pay gap in general.

Next steps

The MEPs from the Women’s Rights and Employment Committees approved the decision to start interministerial negotiations by 71 votes to 20. Parliament as a whole is expected to vote in favor of this decision at the April 4-7 plenary session. The Council already adopted its position last December.


The principle of equal pay is enshrined in Article 157 TFEU. However, across the EU as a whole, the gender pay gap persists at around 14%, with significant differences between Member States. This gap has narrowed very little over the past ten years.

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