MEPs bring down hurdles to pay justice, while others still remain

The European Parliament’s co-rapporteurs Kira Marie Peter-Hansen (Greens / EFA) and Samira Rafaela (Renew) have today published their Joint Draft Report in a move to improve the Gender Pay Transparency Directive.

  • The co-rapporteurs’ have made an important move to widen the number of workers that would fall into the scope of pay reporting obligations, audits and action plans. The threshold for pay reporting has been lowered to organisations with ten or more employees as proposed by the ETUC. 
  • The ETUC also welcomes the amended criteria for job evaluation and classification schemes that would put a stop to characteristics and skills associated with work predominantly carried out by women being overlooked or undervalued. The amendments brought forward would finally allow for a meaningful assessment of jobs predominantly done by women and their real value.
  • The co-rapporteurs however missed a chance to clarify that “workers’ representative” means trade unions in the Directive. While important provisions now refer to trade unions, for example when it comes to requesting information on pay on behalf of workers, the scope of action reserved for trade unions remains unclear. It remains a concern that the text of the Directive still does not explicitly exclude the possibility that employers may choose workers’ representatives.  Further improvements to the Directive are needed to guarantee that unions can bargain to put end to pay discrimination and the undervaluation of female-dominated jobs.
  • Despite its good intentions, the use of gender-neutral language requires some additional clarifications. All women workers need to continue to be able to compare their pay to male workers. And no matter a workers’ gender identity, it is important to ensure that their pay is still compared to the highest and therefore appropriate comparator.
  • While welcoming the improvements, the ETUC is committed to ensuring that the remaining hurdles to equal pay are brought down as the Directive proceeds in the European Parliament and the Council.

Responding to the report, ETUC Deputy General Secretary Esther Lynch said:

“ Equal pay is still possible. The Joint Draft Report by Co-Rapporteurs Kira Marie Peter-Hansen and Samira Rafaela is a step in the right direction and proves that with political commitment, there is a real chance for this Directive to become a leap forward that delivers equal pay”

“Workers and their unions are committed to keep up the pressure on the European Parliament to provide the necessary legal amendments to make sure that women workers and their unions have all the tools they need to close the gender pay gap.”