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Tackling the gender pay gap

In the European Union women earn 16% less than men on average. Gender equality is a founding principle of the EU, therefore, closing the gender pay gap is one of its key objectives.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) published a research on 5 October 2020, which shows that if current trends continue, the gender pay gap in the EU will not be eliminated until 2104. The research also highlighted that without binding pay equality measures which are designed to change the current trends, the gender pay gap would continue to grow in 9 countries and women could achieve equal pay in this decade only in 3 Member States.

For this reason, the European Commission has set itself the goal to adopt the Pay Transparency Directive, the purpose of which would be to improve employees’ access to information on pay, hence raising awareness of gender discrimination and making it easier to enforce equal pay. Furthermore, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, also promised upon her appointment that within the first 100 days of her mandate gender pay transparency measures will be introduced.

However, the ETUC alarmed that the European Commission has delayed the publication of its anticipated Pay Transparency Directive from 4 November 2020 to 15 December 2020 and cast the initiative into doubt. In order to support the Commission’s work to tackle the gender pay gap, the ETUC also revealed on 4 November 2020 a model proposal for a directive on strengthening the principle of equal pay between women and men through pay transparency.