IRELAND South MEP Deirdre Clune has welcomed the European Commission proposal on pay transparency. MEP Clune said that equal pay for equal work simply must be achieved for all.
The European Commission has presented a proposal on pay transparency to ensure that women and men in the EU get equal pay for equal work.
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune said: “We are making some progress in this area but we still need to do more. I am glad that the issue is once again being highlighted at European level. I strongly support measures aimed at improving the gender pay gap. We simply must have equal pay for equal work for all.
"These proposals from the European Commission can go some way to helping women in the workplace but we must continue with our efforts. The pandemic has been particularly difficult for many women in the workplace and I very much welcome the focus on transparency in these proposals as this is key to ensuring progress in this area.”
Currently women are paid 14.1% less than men across the EU. Only 7% of chief executive officers in the EU are female, with women taking just 17% of executive posts. Women managers earn €10 less than men per hour, according to the European Institute for Gender Equality. Figures also show that improving gender equality by 2050 would boost EU GDP by between €1.95 trillion-€3.15 trillion, according to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). At the current pace, estimates predict that it would take over 250 years to completely close the earning gap between men and women, according to the Global Gender Gap Report.
The proposal sets out pay transparency measures, such as pay information for job seekers, a right to know the pay levels for workers doing the same work, as well as gender pay gap reporting obligations for big companies.
The proposal also says that employers will not be allowed to ask job seekers for their pay history and they will have to provide pay related anonymised data upon employee request. Employees will also have the right to compensation for discrimination in pay.
The Commission says that new measures, which take into account the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on both, employers but also on women, who have been hit in particular hard, will increase awareness about pay conditions within the company and give more tools to employers and workers to address the pay discrimination at work.
They added that this will address a number of substantial factors contributing to the existing pay gap and is particularly relevant during COVID-19 pandemic, which is reinforcing gender inequalities and puts women into greater risk of poverty exposure.
Currently, only 10 EU countries — Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Portugal and Sweden— have adopted legal frameworks on pay transparency. Two more, including Ireland and the Netherlands — are thinking of adopting them.
Today's proposal will now go to the European Parliament and the Council for approval. Once adopted, Member States will have two years to transpose the Directive into national law and communicate the relevant texts to the Commission. The Commission will carry out an evaluation of the proposed Directive after eight years.
The proposals were also welcomed by the EPP Group. The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 175 Members from all EU Member States.