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Gender pay gap: Women still work 59 days ‘for free’

Dec 9, 2013 | News

(09 December 2013) – 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, according to the latest figures released today by the European Commission.

The figure has not moved an inch in the space of a year. According to a report published by the European Commission today, the pay gap between women and men is still a reality in all EU countries, ranging from 27.3% in Estonia to 2.3% in Slovenia. Overall figures confirm a weak downward trend in recent years, with a decrease of 1.1% between 2008 and 2011.

Today’s report shows the biggest problem in fighting the EU pay gap is the practical application of equal pay rules and the lack of legal action brought by women to national courts.

Only two Member States (France and the Netherlands) have sufficiently and clearly transposed specifically the 2006 Equality Directive. The Belgian Parliament passed a law in 2012 obliging companies to carry out a comparative analysis of their wage structure every two years. The French 2006 Act on equal Pay requires companies to report on salaries and their plans to close the gender pay gap. The Austrian Equal Treatment Act obliges companies to draw up equal pay reports. The rules are being phased in gradually. Further examples per Member States can be found in today’s report.

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