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Equal Pay - the experience of equality bodies

March 5th 2014

Equality bodies are mandated by EU gender equality legislation to ensure the promotion, analysis, monitoring and support of equal treatment of all persons without discrimination on the ground of sex in matters of employment and occupation. As part of their work, the practical implementation of the principle of equal pay for equal work and work of equal value is central. Their experience on the ground at national level confirms that, notwithstanding a long presence of the principle in EU and national legislation, equal pay in practice is still to be achieved.

As part of the activities of Equinet, the European Network of Equality Bodies, experts from equality bodies have exchanged on good practices emerging from their work on equal pay. They considered such practices in the wider context of the legal framework within which they work, some barriers that they still face in their work on equal pay, and lessons learnt from their activity on the ground. The outcome of such exchanges is presented in this report with detailed information on the different activities to facilitate their reproduction in other contexts.

Some lessons learnt emerged from the activities presented. They include possible ways forward for equality bodies in:

  • raising awareness
  • developing job evaluation methods free from gender biases
  • supporting enterprises monitoring pay schemes
  • playing a role in combating gender stereotypes
  • cooperating with labour inspectors, social partners and civil society

Possible ways forward for national policy makers include the importance of ensuring a comprehensive legal framework including:

  • positive duties
  • non-discriminatory pay regulations
  • access to relevant information for equality bodies
  • transparency of pay

Possible ways forward for European level policy makers include:

  • the relevance of monitoring the implementation in practice of EU legislation and case-law
  • the assessment of the possibility to introduce in EU legislation positive obligations to employers as well as measures increasing the transparency of pay.

The support to strong, independent and effective equality bodies in their provision of information, creation of tools and methodologies, access to key information, interaction with societal stakeholders such as social partners and networking with equality bodies in other countries is another key and necessary contribution to ensuring equal pay.

You can download the report below:

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