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Update on the gender pay gap - the European Parliament (EP) has taken a strong stance against pay inequality between men and women.
14 April 2022

Such step was necessary as working women in the EU earn on average 13% less than men when doing the same job. This figure has decreased only minimally over the past ten years.

The EP will soon enter into negotiations on a Commission proposal for a Pay Transparency Directive. The Directive aims at creating more transparency for employees in relation to pay levels within their organization. In our view the most important elements of the EP’s proposal are the following.

  • The EP demands that EU companies with at least 50 employees be required to disclose information that makes it easier for those working for the same employer to compare salaries and expose any existing gender pay gap in their organisation.
  • Employees and employee representatives will have the right to receive clear and complete information on individual and average pay levels, broken down by gender.
  • If pay reporting within an organization shows a gender pay gap of at least 2.5%, member states would need to ensure that employers, in cooperation with their employee representatives, conduct a joint pay assessment and develop a gender action plan.
  • The EP proposes a prohibition of pay secrecy, via measures forbidding contractual terms that restrict employees from disclosing information about their pay, or from seeking information about the same or other categories of employees’ pay.
  • The EP has backed the Commission’s proposal to shift the burden of proof on pay-related issues. In cases where an employee feels that the principle of equal pay has not been applied and takes an employer to court, national legislation should oblige the employer to prove that there has been no discrimination.

These changes if implemented, would be a real turn-around for employers in The Netherlands and possibly also for employers in other EUR countries.

 We will of course keep a close eye on this and keep you posted.