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Parliamentary questions
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11 June 2018
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-001130/2018

Closing the gender pay gap remains a major objective to achieve gender equality and it is a political priority for the Commission.

In November 2017, the Commission adopted a communication consisting of an EU Action Plan 2017-2019 tackling the gender pay gap(1) (GPG). It presents a variety of actions to tackle the GPG from all possible angles.

Alongside this communication, the Commission adopted a report evaluating the 2014 Pay Transparency Recommendation(2), concluding that current pay transparency measures are insufficient in many Member States. The European Pillar of Social Rights that was proclaimed and jointly signed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on 17 November 2017, reiterates in its Principle 2 on Gender equality that women and men have the right to equal pay for work of equal value.

The Commission is currently working on an evaluation of the existing provisions on equal pay, including those of Directive 2006/54/EC(3) on equal treatment between women and men in employment and occupation, with a focus on issue that might affect the enforcement of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value.

In April 2017, the Commission launched an Initiative to improve Work-life Balance for Working Parents and Carers, aiming at a better representation of women in the labour market and thereby tackling the GPG.

Indeed, one of the main drivers of the GPG is an unbalanced sharing of caring responsibilities, in particular as women often leave the labour market or accept lower qualified — and often lower paid positions — to care for their families.

(1)COM(2017) 678 final, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic And Social Committee, EU Action Plan 2017-2019 Tackling the gender pay gap; available at: https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2017/EN/COM-2017-678-F1-EN-MAIN-PART-1.PDF
(2)COM(2017) 671 final, Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee, Report on the implementation of Commission Recommendation on strengthening the principle of equal pay between men and women through transparency; available at: http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/just/document.cfm?action=display&doc_id=48 361
(3)Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (recast), OJ L 204, 26.7.2006, p. 23‐36.

Last updated: 14 June 2018Legal notice