Procedure : 2008/2039(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0491/2008

Texts tabled :

A6-0491/2008

Debates :

PV 12/01/2009 - 23
CRE 12/01/2009 - 23

Votes :

PV 15/01/2009 - 6.2
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2009)0024

REPORT     
PDF 196kWORD 119k
10 December 2008
PE 412.284v02-00 A6-0491/2008

on transposition and application of Directive 2002/73/EC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions

(2008/2039(INI))

Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality

Rapporteur: Teresa Riera Madurell

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on transposition and application of Directive 2002/73/EC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions

(2008/2039(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 16 December 2003 on Better Law-making(1) concluded between the Parliament, the Council and the Commission,

–   having regard to Directive 2002/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 amending Council Directive 76/207/EEC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions(2),

–   having regard to Rule 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 (A6-0491/2008),

A. whereas the principles of democracy and the rule of law, which are enshrined in the EC Treaty, make it appropriate for the legislator to monitor the implementation of the legislation which it has adopted,

B.  whereas the task of Parliament as co-legislator concerning monitoring of the implementation of Directive 2002/73/EC is complicated due to the little information made available by the Commission; whereas for that reason, letters were sent to the competent committees of national parliaments and equality bodies asking for information, to which 27 national parliamentary assemblies and 16 equality bodies replied,

C. whereas Directive 2002/73/EC is an important milestone in the process towards achieving equality between women and men and tackling discrimination on grounds of gender in society as a whole,

D. whereas a definition of "sexual harassment" was set out for the first time at EU level in Directive 2002/73/EC, which also defined direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and harassment, prohibited discrimination against women on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity leave, and which provided for the right of return to the same job or an equivalent post after maternity, paternity or adoption leave, where such rights are recognised by Member States,

E.  whereas Member States undertook a number of obligations in implementing Directive 2002/73/EC by 5 October 2005, such as:

Ø the designation of a body or bodies whose competence includes the promotion, analysis, monitoring and support of equal treatment for men and women,

Ø the promotion of social dialogue between the social partners with a view to fostering equal treatment, including through the monitoring of workplace practices, collective agreements, etc.,

Ø encouragement of dialogue with appropriate NGOs with a view to promoting the principle of equal treatment,

Ø promotion of equal treatment at the workplace in a planned and systematic way, for example through company equality reports with regular information on equal treatment of men and women,

Ø effective measures to ensure real sanctions for breaches of the Directive, where compensation to victims may not be restricted by fixing a prior upper limit, except in very limited cases,

Ø ensuring that persons supporting the victims of gender discrimination and harassment enjoy the same protection against adverse treatment,

Ø reporting every four years to the Commission on measures taken to provide specific advantages to the under-represented sex in professional activities, as well as the implementation of such measures,

Ø ensuring that provisions of contracts or agreements in breach of the Directive are amended or declared null and void,

F.  whereas slow or low-quality implementation of Directive 2002/73/EC risks endangering the achievement of the Lisbon strategy and the development of the full potential of the EU's social and economic capacity,

G. whereas many Member States faced difficulty in transposing Directive 2002/73/EC, especially in introducing into their legislation specific and appropriate measures for improving gender equality and reducing discrimination as regards obtaining employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions,

H. whereas indicators show that there were no effects worth mentioning on the ability of women to obtain employment and promotion in the years following the entry into force of the new, improved legislation on equal treatment,

I.   whereas in many Member States, gender mainstreaming in political and administrative decisions is impossible due to a lack of knowledge and awareness of this approach,

J.   whereas gender discrimination in other social and political aspects is worsened by the persisting gender pay gap, especially between the so-called feminine and masculine economic sectors,

K.  whereas the economic independence of women is fundamental to their emancipation, and employment with rights is therefore a guarantee for their personal development and for social inclusion,

1.  Calls on the Commission to carefully monitor the transposition of Directive 2002/73/EC as well as compliance with the legislation arising from this transposition, and to continue to exert pressure on Member States; stresses the need to make available adequate resources to achieve these objectives;

2.  Recalls Point 34 of the Interinstitutional Agreement on better law-making, and in particular the commitment of the Council to encourage Member States to draw up and make public tables illustrating the correlation between directives and the national transposition measures; considers that the availability of correlation tables would ease the Commission's task in monitoring transposition of Directive 2002/73/EC;

3.  Notes that close cooperation between the competent committees in national parliaments and the European Parliament on monitoring the transposition and implementation of gender equality legislation would bring gender equality closer to policy-makers and citizens;

4.  Appreciates the great number of detailed replies received in a short time from national parliaments and equality bodies concerning the state of play in implementation and problems related thereto;

5.  Regrets that the Commission's report to the European Parliament and the Council, to be based on information communicated by the Member States by the end of 2005, is not yet available;

6.  Deplores the fact that legislation in several Member States does not include in a sufficiently clear and explicit manner definitions of direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment;

7.  Is concerned that in several Member States the scope of the prohibited types of discrimination is not sufficiently wide as to comply with Directive 2002/73/EC; recalls that the prohibited types of discrimination affect both the private and public sectors;

8.  Regrets the fact that some national legislation contravenes the principle of effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions by setting thresholds for the payment of compensation or reparation to the victims of discrimination;

9.  Draws attention to the fact that less favourable treatment of a woman related to pregnancy or maternity leave constitutes discrimination; deplores the fact that some Member States have not recognised in an explicit manner the right to return to the same job or an equivalent post after maternity leave;

10. Calls on Member States to ensure that all the provisions of Directive 2002/73/EC are fully, correctly and effectively transposed and adequately implemented;

11. Refers to the fact that equal treatment does not apply to all social security systems; calls on the Member States and the Commission to ensure that occupational pension schemes in particular are not discriminatory against women and that they do not reinforce existing patterns that already put women at a disadvantage in terms of benefits and contributions;

12. Welcomes the efforts made by those Member States who have extended or reinforced the requirements of Directive 2002/73/EC, especially those initiatives that have introduced protection against discrimination into new sectors of society;

13. Asks Member States to take steps to encourage employers to foster working conditions that prevent sexual harassment and harassment on grounds of sex and to institute specific procedures to prevent such behaviour;

14. Urges Member States to develop capacities and ensure adequate resources for the bodies promoting equal treatment and equal gender opportunities provided for in Directive 2002/73/EC, and recalls the Directive's requirement of ensuring the independence of those bodies;

15. Notes the different approaches to the implementation of Article 8a of Directive 2002/73/EC, which underlines the need for cooperation and exchange of good practices between Member States; believes that both the Commission Network of National Gender Equality Bodies and Equinet are important tools in enhancing such cooperation and promoting the uniform implementation of Community law in the field of equal treatment of women and men;

16. Welcomes the Commission's intention to conduct a study on the organisation of the equality bodies in 2009; invites the Commission and the Member States to gauge the degree of knowledge of EU citizens of the services offered by the equality bodies, and to launch information campaigns to make these bodies better known;

17. Draws attention to the poor level of awareness of rights under Directive 2002/73/EC among women, as deduced from the low number of gender equality proceedings and complaints filed; calls on Member States, trade unions, employers and NGOs to intensify their efforts to inform women of the possibilities open to victims of discrimination under national legislation in force since 2005;

18. Notes the limited faith in judicial protection among victims of discrimination; calls on Member States to ensure that assistance granted is independent and free of charge, to strengthen guarantees for victims of discrimination and to provide for the judicial protection of persons defending, or giving evidence on behalf of, a person protected by Directive 2002/73/EC;

19. Calls on the Commission to examine whether Member States are ensuring that victims and associations and organisations which have a legitimate interest in compliance with Directive 2002/73/EC are not prevented by legal or other barriers, for example excessively short deadlines, from initiating legal proceedings in respect of infringements of discrimination protection rules and equal rights or, in the case of victims, from claiming their full rights under Directive 2002/73/EC in other administrative procedures;

20. Acknowledges the positive effects on preventing and assessing the existence of discriminatory practices that can be derived from the close cooperation between equality bodies and labour inspectors; calls on Member States to insist on the training of labour inspectors in light of the new responsibilities acquired as a result of the transposition of Directive 2002/73/EC, as well as on the new tools created, such as the shift of the burden of the proof;

21. Stresses the critical role of NGOs in providing assistance to victims of discrimination; asks public authorities to earmark resources for mediation and assistance projects, which are more complex to carry out than dissemination campaigns;

22. Emphasises the relevance of reliable, comparable and available quantity and quality indicators, as well as gender-based statistics, for ensuring implementation and follow-up to the Directive; urges equality bodies to intensify their efforts in conducting independent surveys, publishing independent reports and making recommendations concerning any issue related to discrimination; recalls the role of the European Institute for Gender Equality, entrusted with the task of gathering and analysing information regarding gender equality, raising the awareness of EU citizens as regards gender equality and developing methodological tools in support of gender mainstreaming;

23. Points to the need to foster social dialogue between the social partners in order to apply the principle of equal treatment by means of the monitoring of workplace practices, collective agreements, codes of conduct, research and exchange of experience and good practice;

24. Invites Member States to incorporate in their national legislation the requirement for undertakings to develop and implement annual plans on corporate equality and the rights of women and men caring for family members and ensure gender-balanced representation on corporate boards;

25. Invites Member States to encourage employers to provide employees and their representatives with regular information on respect for the principle of equal treatment of women and men;

26. Invites Member States to encourage employers to provide employees and their representatives with regular information on gender issues and leave entitlement;

27. Insists on the need to develop national mechanisms aimed at monitoring the implementation of the equal pay principle and reinstatement at work following maternity leave, paternity leave or leave to care for dependent family members;

28. Notes that the wage gap persists, with women earning wages that are on average 15% below those for men, that this gap was reduced by only 1% between 2000 and 2006, and that the percentage of women in management posts is still far lower than the percentage of men; insists on the need to develop national mechanisms aimed at monitoring the implementation of the equal pay principle and calls on the Commission to renew the planning of support measures for this purpose, with due respect for the principle of subsidiarity;

29. Stresses the need to encourage initiatives that contribute to setting up and implementing in companies human resources policies and positive measures promoting gender equality, Invites Member States to incorporate in their national legislation the requirement for undertakings to develop and implement annual corporate equality plans and ensure gender-balanced representation on corporate boards;

30. Reminds the Member States of the importance of actively implementing gender mainstreaming and seeking to reconcile family and working life when developing and implementing laws;

31. Emphasises the need to combat the specific obstacles faced by women and girls with disabilities and by the parents of children with disabilities as regards equal access to education and to the labour market and the need to adapt measures to incorporate the gender dimension in all policies and also to the particular needs of such groups;

32. Points to the need to ensure greater flexibility regarding parental leave, particularly for parents of handicapped children;

33. Calls on Member States to remove discrimination against girls and young women in the transition from school to training, from training to professional life, by targeted measures, and also during reinsertion into the labour market after leave to care for children or relatives; points to the need for public childcare and nursing services, and for care of the elderly; draws the Member States’ attention to the commitment that they made regarding these matters at the 2002 Barcelona Summit;

34. Calls on the Commission to examine to what extent Member States have availed themselves of the possibilities for taking specific, positive measures where the disadvantages faced by women in their professional careers are particularly serious and evident; calls on the Commission to draw up a report on this matter;

35. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, national parliaments and national equality bodies.

(1)

OJ C 321, 31.12.2003, p. 1.

(2)

OJ L 269, 5.10.2002, p. 15.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Gender equality is a fundamental right that enjoys a privileged status in EU law, but as showed by the 28,4 percentage points difference in employment rates between men and women corresponding to the year 2007 for the EU27(1), gender inequality in the labour market is still a structural problem which needs to be addressed. And doing so is of a paramount importance not only for the obvious reason that equality is a fundamental right, but also because the Lisbon European Council of March 2000 assigned the European Union the target of raising the employment rate of women to over 60% by 2010.

Furthermore, as the pay gap figures show the gender inequality gap needs to be closed not only in terms of employment rate, but also in terms of quality of employment. The International Trade Union Confederation 2008 report on the Global Gender Pay Gap, found that higher education of women does not necessarily lead to a smaller pay gap, and in some cases the gap actually increases with the level of education.

By adopting the Directive 2002/73/EC of 23 September 2002 amending Council Directive 76/207/EEC the European Parliament and the Council provided the EU Member States with an effective tool to enhance national legislation on equal treatment between women and men on the labour market.

However, slow or low quality implementation of this Directive risks endangering the fulfilment of the Lisbon strategy and the possibility to develop the full potential of the EU social and economic capacity.

Compliance- State of art

Procedures for non-communication:

At the end of the deadline for transposition of the Directive (5 October 2005), nine Member States had not notify measures to transposed the Directive. Consequently the Commission launched infringement proceedings against all those Member States which resulted in two procedures on non-communication against Belgium and Luxemburg.

Procedures for non conformity:

Due to the complexity and novelty of the provisions of the Directive, the Commission detected a high number of problems in the transposition. Thus, letters of formal notice were sent to 22 Member States during the first half of 2007. Among the 23 legislations monitored for conformity, Spain is the only Member State not having received a letter of formal notice.

Still, this does not mean that all 22 Member States have serious problems of non-conformity. Experience shows that many objections raised by the Commission in the infringement proceedings are resolved following the letter of formal notice and, especially, following the reasoned opinion.

According to the Commission, all Member States have replied to the letters of formal notice and the Commission is currently finalising the analysis of the replies. The FEMM committee has been informed that Estonia and Finland have already received a reasoned opinion and it is expected that by the end of 2008 the Commission will have taken a decision on the follow-up of the rest of the open procedures, i.e. the notification of reasoned opinions or the closing of the cases.

Court cases

Belgium and Luxemburg were recently found in violation of the obligation of communication by the Court of Justice, although Luxemburg has since transposed the Directive.

On 27 May 2008 FEMM committee meeting held an exchange of views on this dossier and the Commission informed that the first report on the transposition of this Directive will come out during the first half of 2009, once the result of the infringement procedures have been analysed.

Definitions

Definitions have been in one way or another incorrectly transposed in 15 Member States.

Many Member States have opted for a general definition of discrimination without mentioning gender discrimination, but using general terms may provoke side effects that go against the spirit of the directive such as no references to pregnancy or no requests for differentiated court statistics on claims referred to gender discrimination.

The other most recurrent problem in the transposition of the present Directive is the lack of reference to the definition of "sexual harassment" or the fusion of this term with the general definition of harassment, which makes difficult to protect victims of sexual harassment, especially in terms of evidence.

No coverage of the definition of indirect discrimination is also a common problem despite the fact that nowadays this is probably the most insidious form of discrimination. As mentioned above, the prevalence of the gender pay shows how women and men are placed in different work categories for conducting the same work or how sectors with a high rate of women workers are consistently among the low salary sectors.

On the other hand, some Member States have extended or reinforced the definitions by including, for instance, an explicit mention to "transgender identity or expression" or by describing parenthood discrimination as a form of sex discrimination.

Scope

The scope of the Directive has not been properly implemented in 18 Member States, the most common being the non-coverage of self-employed activities and affiliation and involvement in workers or employers associations;

Still, in some Member State, the scope has been broadened beyond the requirements of the Directive in order to cover also:

- social security and assistance, health care, education and the exchange of goods and services;

- not only single persons, but also groups of persons, legal entities and organisations;

- not only wages, but any other benefits provided by the employer under the definition of remuneration;

- employees that work in national organisations outside the Member State.

In Hungary the protection provided to pregnant women has also been granted to those participating in artificial insemination programmes.

The National Equality Bodies

Article 8a of the Directive requires the designation of an equality body and all but two of the replies received by the FEMM committee from Member States equality bodies and national parliaments confirmed the existence of this body.

However, the Commission noted that 16 Member States had not properly implemented the provisions because since the existing equality bodies did not have all the powers provided by the Directive or because the Commission had doubts on its ability to carry out its tasks in an independent manner

Comparative experience demonstrates that there exist important differences in how these equality bodies operate, on which grounds, under whose supervision, personnel and financial resources, etc., although most replies indicate that there is a tendency towards horizontal equality bodies, endorsed with the task of fighting all kinds of discrimination.

As far as human and financial resources goes, there are also significant differences between Member States. Two very similar replies from the equality body's to the FEMM committee are here an illustration of the problem: due to the lack of resources, the matters of discrimination cannot be dealt with rapidly enough since it becomes very difficult to conduct proper investigations; it is not always possible either to provide assistance to persons in courts who presume that have been victims of discrimination, even though the law provides for it; moreover, the lack of resources also makes the monitoring of equality planning difficult and only rather small-scale surveys can be conducted by the equality body own initiative .

Organisational structure and competences

While some Member States have established completely new equality bodies, many of them have widened and precised the powers of the existing ones.

There are basically three models of organisation: Member States with Common Law juridical systems, Member States with Ombudsman system and Member States a Roman juridical tradition.

In Common Law juridical systems the Equality body has powers to conduct investigations and play a role in alternative dispute resolution, whereas the ombudsman, entrusted with the task of fighting discrimination, can participate in judicial proceedings. In Roman juridical tradition systems the legitimacy to participate in civil, social and administrative proceedings is generally incumbent upon natural and corporate persons and the task to investigate falls under the competences of labour inspectors.

The degree of competences vested on the equality bodies varies greatly among Member States encompassing the mere extra-judicial assistance, the power of mediation, the right to investigate ex-officio and the power of intervening in judicial matters.

The decision and recommendations they issue are usually not legally binding, although most of the equality bodies admit that they carry with them a strong moral obligation and are generally followed by court and/or employers. The Ombudsman in Cyprus is the only body dealing with issues of equality and discrimination which has the power to impose sanctions and deliver binding decisions.

Another example is the Netherlands Commission on Equal Treatment which is quasi-judicial body (independent investigation, hearing, and ruling) acting separately from the judiciary. However, legal enforcement of a Commission ruling and damages claiming is only possible through a court of law.

Several equality bodies work in close cooperation with labour inspectors. For instance, the Portuguese Equality Agency visits workplaces or requests the General Inspectorate of Labour with a view to assessing the existence of discriminatory practices.

The role of employers

The Directive encourages employers to promote equal treatment for men and women in the workplace in a planned and systematic way. In the Netherlands there is an obligation to draw up corporate equality plans in enterprises with more than 30 employees and in Spain, corporate equality plans are compulsory for companies with over 250 employees or if stated by the collective bargaining agreement. On the other hand, in the Estonian Gender Equality Act employers are explicitly asked to collect gender differentiated statistical data concerning employment.

The role of the civil society

Replies reveal that women are reluctant to claim their rights and equality bodies agree that the absence of filed complaints signifies a limited trust in the protection mechanism. As the Greek Ombudsman recognises, the lack of contact between institutional mechanisms and individuals victims of discrimination can be remedied only by those social organisations that are active on the ground.

It is important to take initiatives to strengthen the participation of civil society, especially at regional and local levels, beyond general information and awareness raising campaigns, which usually absorb most of the available funds to NGOs. Associations should be granted the means to provide independent assistance to victims of discrimination and should be empowered to litigate, as contemplated in article 6.3 of the Directive.

In fact, there are several web sites operated by NGOs providing advice concerning discrimination and in few Member States victims of discrimination may be represented by NGOs.

Promotion of gender equality

National legislations do not contribute much to the more general aspects of promoting equal treatment like preventative measures or systematic strategies against discrimination.

The Commission's regular reports on equality between women and men reiterate year after year the need to reinforce the implementation of gender mainstreaming, and the new Ministry of Equality recently created in Spain reflects the effort of integrating this concept, but few real political and institutional commitments have been made in the Member States to carry out gender mainstreaming strategies.

Article 8 b paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Directive encourages Member States to promote social dialogue between the social partners and, while several Member States signal the role of trade unions in elaborating a model union contract with gender equality paragraphs inserted, some social partners signal a general lack of information that affects, for instance, the incorporation of clauses on indirect discrimination. Member states also confirm the government's close cooperation with social partners in the drafting of the Directive's transposition acts.

(1)

http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/employment_strategy/pdf/2008compendium_en.pdf


OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (26.6.2008)

for the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

on the transposition and application of Directive 2002/73/EC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions

(2008/2039(INI))

Draftswoman: Ilda Figueiredo

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 the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas many Member States faced difficulty in transposing Directive 2002/73/EC, especially in introducing into their legislation specific and appropriate measures for improving gender equality and reducing discrimination as regards obtaining employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions,

B.  whereas indicators show that there were no effects worth mentioning on the ability of women to obtain employment and promotion in the years following the entry into force of the new, improved legislation on equal treatment,

C. whereas, in many Member States, gender mainstreaming in political and administrative decisions is impossible due to a lack of knowledge and awareness of this approach,

D. whereas, in each Member State, at least one body with responsibility for promoting, analysing, monitoring and fostering gender equality has been set up,

E.  whereas gender discrimination in other social and political aspects is worsened by the persisting gender pay gap, especially between the so-called feminine and masculine economic sectors,

1.  Deplores the fact that, although there has been some progress as regards access to employment and to the labour market and as regards employment conditions, women are still being discriminated against, and takes the view, therefore, that the full transposition in all Member States of Directive 2002/73/EC into national law and its implementation in practice insofar as concerns indirect discrimination is indispensable; also points out that implementation must not be accompanied by a reduction in the existing level of protection of women;

2.  Emphasises the need to combat the specific obstacles faced by women and girls with disabilities and by the parents of children with disabilities as regards equal access to education and the labour market and the need to adapt measures to incorporate the gender dimension in all policies and also to the particular needs of such groups;

3.  Finds it disturbing that the employment situation of women is continuing to show higher unemployment rates, more precarious forms of work, lower pay, a higher risk of poverty and industrial accidents, greater difficulties in terms of career advancement and very poor pensions, which are exacerbated in the case of women who have a disability and/or are migrants;

4.  Stresses that, even though the difference between the employment rate for women and for men has been reduced slightly, this difference still stood at more than 14% in 2006 and that the employment situation of women is more precarious, with increasing numbers of women working part-time and on temporary contracts;

5.  Notes that the wage gap persists, with women earning wages that are on average 15% below those for men, that this gap was reduced by only 1% between 2000 and 2006, and that the percentage of women in management posts is still far lower than the percentage of men;

6.  Urges the Member States to intensify their efforts and fight discrimination between men and women, particularly as regards equality of pay and integration or reintegration into the labour market as a matter of the utmost priority, and calls on the Commission to renew the planning of support measures for this purpose, with due respect for the principle of subsidiarity;

7.  Stresses that the economic independence of women is fundamental to their emancipation, and employment with rights is therefore a guarantee for their personal development and for social inclusion;

8.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to assess the activities of national gender equality bodies and to propose measures to strengthen their role and to improve their effectiveness in the application of relevant legislation;

9.  Urges the bodies promoting equal treatment provided for in Directive 2002/73/EC to ensure the independence of the assistance granted to victims of discrimination and of their supporting and investigations activities; also calls on the Member States to ensure the equitable funding of structures and their activities;

10. Calls on the Commission to examine whether women are adequately informed about their rights under Directive 2002/73/EC, have easy and unimpeded access to an ombudsman's office which supports them in exercising their rights and whether Member States, beyond the transposition of legislation, take further measures to support the protection from discrimination of women in employment and training and further develop such protection by targeted preventive measures;

11. Calls on the Commission to examine whether the ombudsman authorities for protecting victims in Member States are sufficiently well funded and staffed to enable them to fully to discharge their duties in accordance with Article 8a of Directive 76/207/EEC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions, as amended by Directive 2002/73/EC;

12. Calls on the Commission to examine whether Member States are ensuring that victims and associations and organisations which have a legitimate interest in compliance with Directive 2002/73/EC are not prevented by legal or other barriers, for example excessively short deadlines, from initiating legal proceedings in respect of infringements of discrimination protection rules and equal rights or, in the case of victims, from claiming their full rights under Directive 2002/73/EC in other administrative procedures;

13. Calls on the Commission, the Member States, trade union organisations, employers and all governmental and non-governmental actors to step up their common activities aimed at raising awareness of the existing legal guarantees and the correct and effective application of the law on equal treatment and to improve the information they offer on the possibilities for redress in the event of discrimination;

14. Maintains that steps need to be taken immediately in order to give full and productive effect to Directive 2002/73/EC, with a view to combating discrimination; urges the Member States to attach greater importance to collective bargaining, each according to its traditions, give dignity to those who work, bring closer supervision to bear on working conditions, health and safety, and eradicate direct and indirect wage discrimination;

15. 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; stresses that open-ended contracts remain the norm;

16. Points to the need for specific policies and goals aimed at achieving genuine equality between women and men (equal pay, parental leave, access to high quality jobs with rights, equal access to lifelong learning, equal representation in decision making and the elimination of gender based violence in the work place) and organising work and working time in ways that make for a better work-life balance for women and men;

17. Points to the need to ensure greater flexibility regarding parental leave, particularly for parents of handicapped children;

18. Points to the need for new and better educational and social facilities, both for children and young people and for older adults, including more (and better) learning opportunities; calls on Member States to remove discrimination against girls and young women in the transition from school to training, from training to professional life, by targeted measures, and also during reinsertion into the labour market after leave to care for children or relatives; points to the need for public childcare and nursing services, and for care of the elderly; draws the Member States’ attention to the commitment that they entered into regarding these matters at the 2002 Barcelona Summit;

19. Stresses the need to guarantee full rights, including maternity and social security rights, for all working women, including women who are self-employed or who work on family farms;

20. Calls on the Commission to examine to what extent Member States have availed themselves of the possibilities for taking specific, positive measures where the disadvantages faced by women in their professional careers are particularly serious and evident; calls on the Commission to draw up a report on this matter;

21. Considers it important to look into the question of establishing a methodology for analysing exactly what jobs entail that will guarantee the right to equal pay for women and men, give proper recognition to individuals and occupations and, at the same time, attach due dignity to work as a structuring factor, with a view to increasing the productivity, competitiveness and quality of undertakings and improving the lives of workers, both men and women; considers that scientific analyses in this field are essential to altering the current methods of measuring the social value of work based on traditional gender discriminatory ideas about the importance of different activities, which has the consequence of maintaining the structural remuneration disparities between sectors;

22. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to set up clear, detailed and measurable equal treatment indicators and standards for evaluating gender relations and respect for women's rights in undertakings; believes that promoting positive examples is necessary and that one criterion for not awarding public contracts to undertakings might be the infringement of laws relating to equal treatment;

23. Calls on the Commission to offer its expertise to the Member States, where needed, and to take vigorous measures to support the exchange of good practices concerning the equal treatment of women and men in the employment market;

24. Stresses the need to encourage initiatives that contribute to setting up and implementing in companies human resources policies and positive measures promoting gender equality, and to encourage information and training measures making it possible to promote, transfer and incorporate practices that have been successful in organisations and companies;

25. Calls on the Commission carefully to monitor the transposition of Directive 2002/73/EC and compliance with the legislation arising from this transposition and to continue to exert pressure on Member States.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

25.6.2008

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

41

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Jan Andersson, Edit Bauer, Iles Braghetto, Philip Bushill-Matthews, Alejandro Cercas, Ole Christensen, Derek Roland Clark, Luigi Cocilovo, Jean Louis Cottigny, Jan Cremers, Proinsias De Rossa, Richard Falbr, Carlo Fatuzzo, Ilda Figueiredo, Karin Jöns, Ona Juknevičienė, Jean Lambert, Raymond Langendries, Bernard Lehideux, Elizabeth Lynne, Thomas Mann, Maria Matsouka, Elisabeth Morin, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Csaba Őry, Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Elisabeth Schroedter, Jean Spautz, Gabriele Stauner, Ewa Tomaszewska, Gabriele Zimmer

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jean Marie Beaupuy, Petru Filip, Donata Gottardi, Marian Harkin, Rumiana Jeleva, Sepp Kusstatscher, Roberto Musacchio, Csaba Sógor, Patrizia Toia, Glenis Willmott


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

2.12.2008

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

11

0

5

Members present for the final vote

Edit Bauer, Ilda Figueiredo, Věra Flasarová, Lissy Gröner, Pia Elda Locatelli, Astrid Lulling, Siiri Oviir, Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou, Anni Podimata, Teresa Riera Madurell, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Anne Van Lancker, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Donata Gottardi, Marusya Ivanova Lyubcheva

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

Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar

Last updated: 18 December 2008Legal notice