MEPs to call for binding measures to close gender pay gap 

Despite the EU’s 2006 Directive on gender equality in the labour market, "the differences in pay for men and women persist and are even growing as a result of the crisis", says a draft non-legislative resolution to be debated and voted on Thursday. MEPs are set to urge the EU Commission to table fresh legislation "providing for more effective means of supervising the implementation and enforcement in member states".

EU member states are often slow to apply and enforce the equal pay principle and the gender pay and pension gaps still average 16.4 % and 38.5 % respectively across the EU (Eurostat 2012) , with significant differences between countries, says the text drafted by the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee.

To close the gender pay gap, members are set to propose mandatory pay audits for large stock exchange-listed companies and possible sanctions at EU level in cases of non-compliance (such as excluding companies from EU budget-funded public procurement of goods and services).

Furthermore, the draft resolution calls for:

  • harmonized gender-neutral job classification and evaluation,
  • objective criteria for comparing work of“equal value”
  • wage transparency (to reveal gender bias and pay discrimination) and
  • free legal aid for victims of discrimination.

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

Procedure Code: 2014/2160(INI)

Debate: Thursday, 8 October

Vote: Thursday, 8 October

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