REPORT with recommendations to the Commission on the application of the principle of equal pay for men and women

    10.10.2008 - (2008/2012(INI))

    Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
    Rapporteur: Edit Bauer
    (Initiative – Rule 39 of the Rules of Procedure)

    Procedure : 2008/2012(INL)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    A6-0389/2008

    MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

    with recommendations to the Commission on the application of the principle of equal pay for men and women

    (2008/2012(INI))

    The European Parliament,

    –   having regard to Article 192, second paragraph, of the EC Treaty,

    –   having regard to Articles 2 and 141, third paragraph of the EC Treaty,

    –   having regard to the Commission's Communication entitled "Tackling the pay gap between women and men" (COM(2007)0424),

    –   having regard to the Report by the Commission's network of legal experts in the fields of employment, social affairs and equality between men and women,

    –   having regard to the European Pact for Gender Equality, adopted by the Brussels European Council of 23 and 24 March 2006,

    –   having regard to the case law of the European Court of Justice based on Article 141 of the EC Treaty,

    –   having regard to the provisions of the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) 1994 Part Time Work Convention, which requires countries to incorporate in their public procurement contracts a labour clause, including the issue of equal pay,

    –   having regard to Article 11(1)(d) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, adopted by the UN General Assembly by Resolution 34/180 of 18 December 1979,

    –   having regard to the European Social Partners' Framework of Actions on Gender Equality,

    –   having regard to its resolutions of 13 March 2007 on a roadmap for equality between women and men (2006-2010)[1] and 3 September 2008 on Equality between women and men – 2008 [2],

    –   having regard to Rules 39 and 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

    –   having regard to the report of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A6‑0389/2008),

    A.  whereas women earn on average 15% less than men in the European Union and up to 25% less in the private sector; whereas the gender pay gap varies between 4% and more than 25% in Member States and this gap does not show a significant narrowing trend,

    B.  whereas women need to work until 22 February (i.e. 418 calendar days) in order to earn as much as men do in a year,

    C.  whereas the implementation of the principle of equal pay for the same work and for work of equal value is crucial to achieving gender equality,

    D.  whereas the gender pay gap still persists, as evidenced by data pointing to extremely slow progress (from 17% in 1995 to 15% in 2005), in spite of the significant body of legislation in force for more than 30 years and the actions taken and resources spent on trying to reduce it; whereas the causes of this difference need to be analysed and approaches to tackling the pay gap and the segregation of the female employment market of which it is an adjunct need to be put forward,

    E.  whereas women achieve a higher pass rate at school than men in all Member States and account for the majority of graduates, without a comparable pay gap reduction,

    F.  whereas the pay gap results from direct and indirect discrimination, as well as from social and economic factors, labour market segregation and the overall wage structure and is, moreover, linked to a number of legal, social and economic factors, which go beyond the single issue of equal pay for the same work,

    G.  whereas the pay gap is not based solely on disparities in gross hourly earnings and account should also be taken of factors such as individual pay supplements, job classification, work organisation patterns, professional experience and productivity, which should be measured not only in quantitative terms (hours when the worker is physically present at the workplace) but also in qualitative terms and in terms of the earnings impact of shorter working hours, leave and health-related absences,

    H.  whereas reducing the pay gap was one of the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs, but it has not been sufficiently addressed by most Member States,

    I.   whereas an improvement in the EU legal framework should enable Member States and social partners to identify better the underlying causes of the persistence of the gender pay gap,

    J.   whereas professions and jobs in which women predominate have a tendency to be undervalued in comparison with those in which men predominate, without necessarily being justified by any objective criteria,

    K. whereas the gender-based digital divide that exists clearly impacts on pay,

    L.  whereas the pay system whereby length of service is taken into account in setting the level of pay is unfavourable to women who have (repeatedly) to interrupt their career because of external factors, such as child-related employment breaks, differing occupational choices or short working times, and places these women at a permanent and structural disadvantage,

    M.  whereas data indicate that qualifications and experience acquired by women are financially less rewarded than those acquired by men; whereas, in addition to the concept of "equal pay for work of equal value", which must not be biased by a gender-stereotyped approach, societal roles that have hitherto significantly influenced education and employment paths must be broken away from; furthermore maternity and parental leave must not give rise to discrimination against women on the labour market,

    N. whereas the pay gap has a serious impact on the economic and social status of women throughout their working life and beyond, whereas as a result of contributing to society by means other than employment, such as by looking after children and elderly relatives, many women are at greater risk of poverty, and are less independent economically,

    O. whereas the pay gap is even more pronounced among immigrant women, women with disabilities, women belonging to minorities and unqualified women,

    P.  whereas gender-specific data and a new, gender-aware legal framework enabling the causes of pay discrimination to be tackled, are essential,

    Q. whereas education can and must contribute to eradicating gender stereotypes from society,

    R. whereas Parliament has repeatedly called on the Commission to take initiatives, including the revision of existing legislation, in order to help to tackle the pay gap, to eliminate the risk of poverty among pensioners and securing for them a decent standard of living, ,

    S. whereas 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) states that the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value is an essential and indispensable part of the aquis communautaire, including the case law of the European Court of Justice concerning discrimination and gender, and it is necessary to make further provision for the implementation of that principle,

    T.  whereas the implementation by the Member States, social partners and equal opportunity organisations of measures such as those set out in the 'Framework of actions on gender equality' endorsed by the social partners in March 2005 would help close the pay gap through effective social dialogue,

    U.  whereas a strategy to remedy the pay gap, horizontal and vertical segregation of the labour market and stereotyping of the jobs and sectors where women typically predominate will require a framework for legislative and other measures at various levels which distinguishes between pay discrimination and pay differences based on factors other than direct or indirect discrimination, since while the former falls directly within the scope of legislation, the latter has to be tackled by means of targeted policies and specific measures,

    V.  whereas the Commission, as announced in its above-mentioned communication entitled "Tackling the pay gap between women and men", is, during the course of 2008 carrying out an analysis of the EU legal framework on equal pay that must involve all stakeholders concerned; whereas the results of this analysis should be given due publicity,

    W. whereas equality in male and female pensions, including as regards the retirement age, has been set as a goal,

    X.   whereas the European Gender Institute can play a fundamental role,

    1.  Requests the Commission to submit to Parliament by 31 December 2009, on the basis of Article 141 of the EC Treaty, a legislative proposal on the revision of the existing legislation relating to the application of the principle of equal pay for men and women, following the detailed recommendations below[3];

    2.  Confirms that the recommendations respect the principle of subsidiarity and the fundamental rights of citizens;

    3.  Considers that the requested proposal will not have any financial implications;

    4.  Is convinced that it is essential to ensure better and earlier implementation of the provisions of the 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)[4], relating to equality organisations and social dialogue with a view to redressing differences in pay by ensuring that the Member States, social partners and equal opportunity organisations apply measures such as those set out in the 'Framework of actions on gender equality' endorsed by the social partners in March 2005, by providing for the distribution of information and guidelines on practical means (particularly for SMEs) of redressing the pay gap, including national or sectoral collective agreements;

    5.  Calls on the Commission to submit to Parliament an analysis on which type of legal acts at EU and/or national level would be an appropriate means of bringing about a significant reduction in the pay gap;

    6.  Points out that collective negotiation and bargaining have an important role to play in combating discrimination against women, not least as regards access to employment, pay, working conditions, career advancement, and vocational training;

    7.  Calls on the European institutions to organise a European Equal Pay Day – the day on which women in Europe have earned (on average) the pay which men earn (on average) in a year – which must contribute to raising awareness about the existing wage gap and encourage all those involved to take additional initiatives to eliminate this gap;

    8.  Calls upon workers’ and employers’ organisations to jointly develop objective job evaluation instruments, in order to reduce the pay gap between men and women;

    9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the accompanying detailed recommendations to the Commission, the Council and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

    • [1]  OJ C 301 E, 13.12.2007, p. 56.
    • [2]  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0399.
    • [3]  Council Directive 75/117/EEC of 10 February 1975 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the application of the principle of equal pay for men and women (OJ L 45 19.2.1975, p. 19) has been incorporated in Directive 2006/54/EC. According to the provisions of Directive 2006/54/EC, Directive 75/117/EEC is repealed as from 15 August 2009, which is also the last limit set to implement this Directive.
    • [4]  OJ L 204, 26.7.2006, p.23.

    ANNEX TO THE MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION:

    DETAILED RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE CONTENT OF THE PROPOSAL REQUESTED

    Recommendation 1: DEFINITIONS

    The Recast Directive No 2006/54 contains a definition of equal pay, by copying the provisions of Directive 75/117. To have more precise categories as tools for dealing with the gender pay gap (GPG) it is important to define the different concepts more in detail, such as:

    - GPG, while the definition must not cover gross hourly pay alone;

    - Direct pay discrimination;

    - Indirect pay discrimination;

    - Pension gap - in different pillars of pension systems, i.e. in pay as you go systems, occupational pensions (as a continuation of the pay gap after retirement).

    Recommendation 2: ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION AND TRANSPARENCY OF RESULTS

    2.1. The lack of information and awareness among employers and employees about the existing or possible pay gaps within the company weakens the implementation of the principle enshrined in the Treaty and in existing legislation.

    2.2. Acknowledging the lack of accurate statistical data and the existing lower pay rates for women especially across professions traditionally dominated by women, Member States should take full account of the gender pay gap in their social policies and treat it as a serious problem.

    2.3. It is therefore essential that regular pay audits, as well as the publication of their results, are made compulsory within companies (e.g. in companies with at least 20 employees). The same requirement must also apply to information on remuneration in addition to pay.

    2.4. Employers should provide employees and their representatives with results in the form of wage statistics, broken down by gender. This data should be compiled at sectoral and national level in each Member State.

    2.5. Member States and the Commission should improve statistics and add comparable data on the part-time gender pay gap and the gender pension gap.

    2.6. Those statistics should be coherent, comparable and complete aiming to abolish discriminatory elements in pay, connected with the organisation and classification of work

    Recommendation 3: WORK EVALUATION AND JOB CLASSIFCATION

    3.1. The concept of the value of work must be based on interpersonal skills or responsibility emphasising quality of work, with the aim of promoting equal opportunities between women and men and should not be marked by a stereotyped approach not favourable to women, for example putting the emphasis on physical strength rather than on interpersonal skills or responsability . Women must therefore be provided with information, assistance and/or training in wage negotiations, job classification and pay-scaling. It must be possible for sectors and companies to be asked to examine whether their job classification systems reflect the gender dimension in the required manner, and to make necessary corrections,

    3.2. The Commission's initiative should invite Member States to introduce job classification complying with the principle of equality between women and men, enabling both employers and workers to identify possible pay discrimination based on a biased pay-scale definition. Respecting national laws and traditions concerning industrial relations system remains important. Such elements of work evaluation and classification should also be transparent and be made available to all stakeholders and to labour inspectorates and equality bodies,

    3.3. Member States should carry out a thorough assessment centred on professions dominated by women and develop, working in close cooperation with trade associations and employers, a mechanism intended to improve the financial status of workers,

    3.4. A gender-neutral job evaluation should be based on new systems for classifying and organising staff and organising work and on professional experience and productivity assessed above all in qualitative terms, for use as a source of data and assessment grids for determining pay, with due regard to the principle of comparability.

    Recommendation 4: EQUALITY BODIES

    The equality promotion and monitoring bodies should play a greater role in diminishing the GPG. The bodies should be empowered to be able to monitor, report, and, where possible, enforce more effectively and more independently the application of gender equality legislation. Article 20 of Directive 2006/54 should be revised so as to enhance their mandate by:

    - supporting and advising victims of pay discrimination;

    - providing independent surveys concerning the pay gap;

    - publishing independent reports and making recommendations on any issue relating to pay discrimination (direct and indirect);

    - legal powers to bring wage discrimination cases to court;

    - providing special training for the social partners and for lawyers, judges and ombudsmen based on a toolbox of analytical instruments and targeted measures to be used either when drawing up contracts or when checking whether rules and policies to address the pay gap are being implemented.

    Recommendation 5: SOCIAL DIALOGUE

    Further scrutiny of collective agreements and applicable pay scales and job classification schemes are necessary, mainly concerning the treatment of part-time workers and workers with other atypical work arrangements or extra payments/bonuses (more often given to men than women). Such scrutiny should cover not only primary but also secondary working conditions and occupational social security schemes (rules on leave, pension schemes, company cars, childcare arrangements, flexible working time, etc.). Member States - while respecting national law, collective agreement or practice - should encourage social partners to introduce gender-neutral job classifications, enabling both employers and employees to identify possible pay discrimination based on a biased pay-scale definition.

    Recommendation 6: PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION

    Specific reference should be made to pay discrimination in Article 26 (Prevention of discrimination) of Directive 2006/54, with a view to ensuring that Member States, with the involvement of the social partners and equal opportunity organisations, adopt:

    - specific measures relating to training and job classification, aimed at the vocational-training system and designed to remove and prevent discrimination in training and classification and in the economic valuation of skills,

    - specific policies to make it possible to reconcile work with family and personal life, covering childcare and other care services, flexible work organisation and hours and maternity, paternity, parental and family leave, with specific provision for paternity leave and the protection thereof and for parental leave with financial cover for both parents,

    - concrete affirmative actions (under Article 141(4) of the Treaty) to redress the pay gap and gender segregation, to be given effect by the social partners and equal opportunity organisations at various levels, both contractual and sectoral, such as: promoting pay agreements to fight GPG, investigations in relation to equal pay, setting of qualitative and quantitative targets and benchmarking, exchange of best practice,

    - a clause in public contracts requiring respect for gender equality and equal pay, and the introduction of a specific label such as a 'quality certificate' for gender and pay policies which could be awarded to firms and confer on them certain advantages in terms of access to national, local and European support measures and funding and boost their chances of securing public contracts.

    Recommendation 7: GENDER MAINSTREAMING

    Gender mainstreaming should be enhanced by including in Article 29 of Directive 2006/54 precise guidelines for the Member States concerning the principle of equal pay and closing the gender pay gap. The Commission should gear itself to providing assistance to the Member States and to stakeholders as regards practical measures to bridge the gender pay gap by means of the following:

    - devising reporting schemes for the purpose of assessing pay gaps between men and women,

    - creating a data bank containing information concerning changes to the systems for the classification and the organisation of workers,

    - collating and disseminating the results of experiments relating to the reform of work organisation,

    - devising specific guidelines for the monitoring of pay differentials within the context of collective bargaining, to be made available on an Internet site translated into various languages and accessible to all,

    - distributing information and guidelines on practical means (particularly for SMEs) of redressing the pay gap, including national or sectoral collective agreements.

    Recommendation 8: SANCTIONS

    8.1. The legislation in this field is for different reasons evidently less efficient and, bearing in mind that the whole problem could not be solved by legislation alone, the Commission and Member States should reinforce the existing legislation with appropriate types of sanctions.

    8.2. It is important that Member States take necessary measures to ensure that infringement of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value is subject to appropriate sanctions according to the legal provisions in force.

    8.3. It is recalled that under the Recast Directive No 2006/54, Member States are already obliged to provide for compensation or reparation (Title III Horizontal provisions, Chapter 1, Article 18), as well as penalties (Chapter 3, General horizontal provisions, Article 25) which are "effective, proportionate and dissuasive". However, these provisions are not sufficient to avoid infringement of the equal pay principle. For this reason, it is proposed to conduct a study on the possibility, effectiveness and impact of launching possible sanctions such as:

    - compensation or reparation, which should not be restricted by the fixing of a prior upper limit;

    - penalties, which must include the payment of compensation to the victim;

    - administrative fines (for example in the event of failure of notification or unavailability of analysis of wage statistics disaggregated by gender (according to Recommendation 2) requested by labour inspectorates;

    - administrative fines (for example in the event of failure of notification or of compulsory communication or unavailability of analysis and evaluation of wage statistics disaggregated by gender (according to Recommendation 2) requested by labour inspectorates or the competent equality bodies;

    - disqualification from public benefits, subsidies (including EU funding managed by Member States) and public procurement procedures, as already foreseen by Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC concerning the procurement procedure. It should therefore be compulsory for procedures for the award of contracts and/or tendering to include an equal pay clause.

    - identification of offenders, which should be made public.

    Recommendation 9: STREAMLINING OF EU REGULATION AND EU POLICY

    9.1. One area for urgent action concerns the fact that a wage penalty appears to be linked to part-time working. This requires an evaluation and possible revision of Council Directive 97/81/EC of 15 December 1997 concerning the Framework Agreement on part-time work concluded by UNICE, CEEP and the ETUC - Annex: Framework agreement on part-time work[1], which prescribes equal treatment between full-time and part-time workers as well as more targeted and effective actions in collective agreements.

    9.2. A concrete target for reducing the pay gap should be introduced urgently in the Employment Guidelines, including as regards access to vocational training and a recognition of women's qualifications and skills.

    • [1]  OJ L 14, 201.11998, p. 9.

    EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

    The legal framework of the EU with regard to equal pay is quite extensive. The impact, however, depends on the effectiveness of the enforcement, which may be problematic.

    Data indicate a persistent gap between pay of men and women. Last figures show 15% differences between gross hourly pay of men and women and 25% in private sector. The gender pay gap (GPG) is often used to be explained by differences on the individual basis, such as age, education and experience. Evidences suggest however, that these differences play a relatively minor part in the persistence of the GPG.

    Since differences on individual characteristics are diminishing throughout the EU, even if in some countries they remain important, the GPG seems more related to the level of occupational segregation and the impact of wage structure. The rigidness and persistence of the GPG stress the need for multi-faceted policies targeting the implementation of legislation and addressing the segregation of labour market.

    Experts agreed that the open direct pay discrimination based on sex is diminished by existing legislation. Indirect discrimination seems to be an issue resulting in pay gap in segregated sectors. Due to pay gap resulting from economic segregation, legislation, which is more effective in combating direct discrimination, is of a limited efficiency. Evaluation of the legislative framework shows some differences in legislation, concerning GPG. The Directive 75/117/EEC and recast Directive 54/2006/EC show profound difference is the framework principle: in 1975 the GPG was considered as an economic competition issue, as an "integral part of the establishment and functioning of the common market", while the 2006 Directive relies on "the principle equal treatment and equal opportunity".

    The legislation strictu senso has however the same scope: finding causes of the insufficient efficiency.

    The report aims at strengthening the existing legal provision, while bearing in mind that economic segregation could hardly be influenced by this type of legislation.

    A basic change can be found in the definition of the pay according to numerous ruling of the ECJ. There has been a significant evolution in terms of procedure and possible remedies, also due to the influence of anti-discrimination policies.

    Besides legislation, in principle, policy responses may be organised along 3 lines:

    1) equal pay policy, tackling direct and indirect discrimination

    2) equal opportunities policy, aiming reconciliation of family and working life, resulting in continuous employment patterns

    3) wage-policies, oriented on reducing wage-inequalities and improving the remuneration of low-paid and women dominated jobs

    The effective policy-mix may depend on national particularities and main roots of the gender pay gap.

    National reports, asked by Commission showed that in several Member States the gender pay gap is a low-profile issue, both in the public debate and in policy agenda. One of the main problems identified was that there is no real "ownership" of the problem, as nobody really feels responsible for closing the gender pay gap[1].

    Ongoing decentralisation of wage-setting may deepen the consequences in the future. The situation may be more complicated in Member States where social partners are weak, where the role of trade-unions is diminishing, or where wage-bargaining does not exist. Maintaining the individual work-contract approach without any information concerning the remuneration of similar work could result in a growing gender pay gap.

    It is clear, that improving the existing legislation itself could not alone solve the problem of the gender pay gap. Only an effective policy mix, including better and more effective legislation, and with clear responsibilities can address one of the most persistent problems in the field of gender equality. More than 30-year-old legislation without satisfactory result itself indicates the necessity to improve legislation mainly by strengthening its effectiveness.

    • [1]  A gender pay gap - Origins and policy responses. A comparative review of 30 European countries, EC, 2006.

    OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (10.9.2008)

    for the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality

    on Recommendations on the application of the principle of equal pay for men and women
    (2008/2012(INI))

    Rapporteur: Donata Gottardi

    SUGGESTIONS

    The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs calls on the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, as the committee responsible, to incorporate:

    A. The following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

    1.   Welcomes the Commission’s aim of analysing the causes of the difference in pay between men and women and developing targeted approaches to tackle the pay gap and the accompanying segregation of the female employment market; stresses that the many studies and large body of data which already exist indicate that progress has been slow (a decline in the pay gap from 17% in 1995 to 15% in 2005).

    2.  Draws attention to the need to ensure that the relevant statistics are coherent, comparable, gender-specific, complete and designed to take account of new systems of classifying and organising staff and reforming work organisation, and considers that the pay gap should not simply be determined on the basis of differences in gross hourly earnings but should also take account of factors such as individual pay supplements, professional qualifications, personal aptitudes and skills, work organisation patterns, professional experience and productivity, which should be measured not only in quantitative terms (hours when the worker is physically present at the workplace) but also in qualitative terms and in terms of the impact which reductions in working hours, periods of leave and absences for health reasons have on automatic pay rises.

    3.   Emphasises the need to devise and promote measures which will encourage promotion at work and professional and career development under conditions of genuine equality between men and women.

    4.   Considers that priority should be given to introducing and promoting, both in the private sphere and in the workplace, a new culture based on the principle of co-responsibility , to replace the traditional division of roles between men and women.,

    5.  Considers that a strategy to remedy the pay gap, horizontal and vertical segregation of the labour market, and stereotyping of the jobs and sectors where the workforce is predominantly female, will require a framework for legislative and other measures at various levels which distinguishes between pay discrimination and pay differences based on factors other than direct or indirect discrimination, since the former falls directly within the scope of legislation, whilst the latter has to be tackled by means of targeted policies and specific measures.

    6.   Considers that the direct interlocutors of the Commission’s action – and those responsible for implementing the strategy designed to bridge the pay gap between men and women – should be not just the Member States and social partners but also equality organisations, who, among other things, could provide for social partners, lawyers, magistrates and ombudsmen specific training on gender and the gender pay gap, ;

    7.   Takes the view that, in order permanently to overcome the pay gap, Member States should consider taking specific measures against employers who infringe the principle of equal pay;

    8.  Considers that the various approaches proposed to reduce the pay gap, (bearing in mind the various stakeholders at whom they are directed - Member States, social partners and equal opportunity organisations) should be based on an appropriate combination of innovative strategies for developing economic, employment and social policies following a gender mainstreaming approach including:

    (a)  specific policies to make it possible to reconcile work, studies, training and re-training as part of life-long learning with family and personal life, to access child care and other care services (which should be affordable and easily accessible regardless of an individual employee's status and type of contract), flexible working, and maternity, paternity, parental and family leave accompanied by smooth reintegration into the workplace,

    (b)  fiscal and social security policies, including measures to dismantle the significant disadvantages in retirement pensions owing to work interruptions and part-time work by parents, and gender-specific measures designed to compensate for unfair and unjustified pay differences, to enhance the quality of female employment and to provide for atypical work-care within the family or its broader environment.

    (c)  specific actions under national programmes to implement the integrated guidelines for the 2008/2010 Lisbon Strategy cycle, designed to take account of local conditions in each country, to explore the possibilities for promoting equality through the European Funds and to ensure the Roadmap for Equality 2006/2010 is implemented on schedule,

    (d)  concrete and precise measures (under Article 141(4) of the Treaty) to address the pay gap and gender segregation, to be put into effect by social partners and equal opportunity organisations at various levels, both contractual and sectoral, such as: obliging social partners to conclude pay agreements, to undertake regular investigations in relation to equal pay, to ensure the implementation of companies' equality plans, the setting of qualitative and quantitative targets and benchmarking, and the exchange of best practice validated by the parties concerned accompanied by accounts of the obstacles and difficulties encountered,

    (e)  the insertion of a clause requiring respect for gender equality and equal pay in public contracts and the introduction of a specific label such as a 'quality certificate' for gender and pay policies which could be awarded to undertakings and confer on them certain advantages in terms of access to national, local and European support measures and funding and increase their chances of securing public contracts, and consideration of the optimal application of those policies in the context of public procurement;

    (f)   the taking of initiatives for the implementation by undertakings of a policy of gender equality and equal pay within the framework of increased corporate social responsibility to enhance equality and measures to progress beyond existing prejudices and gender discrimination concerning women's capacity to compete and be integrated in the labour market, especially in management positions.

    B.  The following suggestions in the annex to its motion for a resolution:

    1.  Considers that it is necessary to ensure Articles 141(1) and (2) of the Treaty are interpreted and implemented properly and that action is taken in relation to the relevant directive (at EU level and/or in connection with its transposition and application at national level) - with particular reference to:

    (a)  the concepts of pay and occupational social security schemes, ensuring that these are formulated in such a way as to fully reflect the data and evaluations contained in new job classification systems,

    (b)  the prohibition on discrimination, with specific reference to the "gender pay gap" and possibly the introduction of a definition of this term;

    (c)  job classification, while ensuring that new systems for classifying and organising staff and organising work are used as a source of data and assessment grids for determining pay, with due regard to the principle of comparability,

    (d)  specific measures relating to training and job classification, aimed at the vocational training system and at social partners and designed to remove and prevent discrimination in training and classification and in the economic evaluation of skills;

    (e)  the list of examples of discrimination to be incorporated and to be supplemented with specific and more detailed examples of pay discrimination,

    (f)    arrangements relating to leave, with specific provision for paternity leave and its protection and for parental leave with financial provision for both parents, on the grounds that shared leave is central to overcoming segregation and stereotypes and to redistributing roles in order to prevent career development from being obstructed,

    (g)  the role of equal opportunity organisations, ensuring that they play a greater role alongside the social partners,

    (h)   information provided by employers on equal treatment for men and women at the workplace, making provision for more specific and targeted information concerning pay differences, together with greater involvement of, and a specific role for, social partners and equal opportunity organisations.

    2.  Is convinced that it is essential to ensure better and earlier implementation of the provisions of the directive relating to equality organisations and social dialogue with a view to redressing differences in pay by ensuring the Member States, social partners and equal opportunity organisations apply measures such as those set out in the 'Framework of actions on gender equality' endorsed by the social partners in March 2005, by providing for:

    (a)  the circulation of information and guidelines on practical means (particularly for SMEs) of redressing the pay gap, including national or sectoral collective agreements,

    (b)  compiling gender-specific, transparent and accessible statistical data (using methods which take a large number of variables into account) at national, sectoral and company level,

    (c)  developing transparent and gender-neutral work evaluation systems on the basis of which it is possible to assess, in individual cases if necessary, whether job descriptions and pay criteria are discriminatory,

    (d)  specific training for social partners based on a toolbox of analytical instruments and targeted measures to be used either when drawing up contracts or when checking whether rules and policies to address the pay gap are being implemented.

    3.  Calls on the Commission to submit to Parliament an analysis which legal acts at EU and/or national level would be an appropriate means of bringing about a significant reduction in the pay gap.

    RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

    Date adopted

    10.9.2008

     

     

     

    Result of final vote

    +:

    –:

    0:

    45

    1

    1

    Members present for the final vote

    Jan Andersson, Edit Bauer, Iles Braghetto, Philip Bushill-Matthews, Milan Cabrnoch, Alejandro Cercas, Ole Christensen, Derek Roland Clark, Jean Louis Cottigny, Proinsias De Rossa, Harlem Désir, Harald Ettl, Richard Falbr, Carlo Fatuzzo, Ilda Figueiredo, Roger Helmer, Stephen Hughes, Karin Jöns, Ona Juknevičienė, Jean Lambert, Bernard Lehideux, Elizabeth Lynne, Thomas Mann, Jan Tadeusz Masiel, Maria Matsouka, Mary Lou McDonald, Elisabeth Morin, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Csaba Őry, Siiri Oviir, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Rovana Plumb, Jacek Protasiewicz, Bilyana Ilieva Raeva, Elisabeth Schroedter, José Albino Silva Peneda, Jean Spautz, Gabriele Stauner, Ewa Tomaszewska, Anne Van Lancker, Gabriele Zimmer

    Substitute(s) present for the final vote

    Petru Filip, Donata Gottardi, Rumiana Jeleva, Sepp Kusstatscher, Claude Moraes, Roberto Musacchio, Csaba Sógor

    RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

    Date adopted

    7.10.2008

     

     

     

    Result of final vote

    +:

    –:

    0:

    17

    0

    11

    Members present for the final vote

    Edit Bauer, Emine Bozkurt, Ilda Figueiredo, Věra Flasarová, Claire Gibault, Lissy Gröner, Zita Gurmai, Esther Herranz García, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Lívia Járóka, Piia-Noora Kauppi, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Roselyne Lefrançois, Siiri Oviir, Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou, Zita Pleštinská, Christa Prets, Teresa Riera Madurell, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Eva-Britt Svensson, Britta Thomsen, Anne Van Lancker, Anna Záborská

    Substitute(s) present for the final vote

    Donata Gottardi, Mary Honeyball, Marusya Ivanova Lyubcheva, Maria Petre, Petya Stavreva

    Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

    Maria Martens