Women In Europe Still Work 59 Days ‘For Free’, according to EU Commission Report

Women In Europe Still Work 59 Days ‘For Free’, according to EU Commission Report

The pay gap between women and men is still a reality in all EU countries, according to the latest report released by the European Commission.

16.2%: that’s the size of the gender pay gap, or the average difference between women and men’s hourly earnings across the EU. Overall figures confirm a weak downward trend in recent years, with a decrease of 1.1% between 2008 and 2011. 

With laws guaranteeing equal pay for equal work, equality in the workplace and minimum rights to maternity leave, gender equality is a European achievement. But there is still a way to go to full gender equality. The pay gap is still large and it is not budging. To make things worse: much of the change actually resulted from a decline in men’s earnings rather than an increase for women- said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner- The principle of equal pay for equal work is written in the EU Treaties since 1957. It is high time that it becomes a reality in the workplace as well.

The report focuses on assessing the application of the equal pay provisions in practice in EU Member States and predicts that, for the future, the main challenge for all of them will be the correct application and enforcement of the rules established by the 2006 Directive.

The report confirms the effective application of the equal pay principle is hindered by the lack of transparency in pay systems, the lack of clear benchmarks on pay equality, and by a lack of clear information for workers that suffer inequality. Increased wage transparency could improve the situation of individual victims of pay discrimination who would be able to compare themselves more easily to workers of the other sex.

For more information read the full press release

Gender Pay Gap, learn more

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