Today, the tireless struggle for gender equality has reached a milestone. The Renew Europe Group welcomes the inter-institutional agreement on Pay Transparency. It is an achievement that marks a turning point in strengthening the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women, by providing the necessary reinforcement mechanisms in the fight against the unjustified gender pay gap in both public and private companies.
As part of its priorities, Renew Europe called for binding pay transparency measures, such as a right to information prior to and during employment for all job seekers and employees, transparent pay and career progression policies, as well as pay reporting. Likewise, Renew Europe pushed for strong and mandatory sanctions by EU Member States against companies with structural deficiencies.
MEP Samira Rafaela (Democraten 66, Netherlands), rapporteur on the Pay Transparency Directive on behalf of the European Parliament’s Committee on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights, stated:
“Today, we have secured a fundamental right for all women in Europe. For the first time in European legislation, we have defined intersectional discrimination, and have explicitly included non-binary people. We are now closer to bridging the gender pay gap, ensuring equal treatment and tackling discrimination in our Union. This is a victory not only for us, but for all Europeans. With Pay Transparency, we finally have binding legislation that tackles pay discrimination across the EU. It does so in two complementary ways. The first is the strong right to information, which empowers all workers by giving them the right to receive and demand transparency regarding pay. Secondly, now employers need to report and publish on the gender pay gap in their own companies. And they need to take corrective measures when they detect a gap over 5%. Because companies are our partners in realizing gender equality in the labour market, they have a remedy period in which they can proactively correct the pay gap”.
During the negotiations, our political group also advocated for a balanced approach at the EU level to limit the administrative burden on companies, in particular for SMEs, which will count on specific support to comply with the Directive. At the same time, Renew Europe ensured that social partners play an important role in promoting increased pay transparency and in the fight against gender pay discrimination.
MEP Sylvie Brunet (Mouvement Démocrate, France), Renew Europe shadow rapporteur on the Pay Transparency Directive on behalf of the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, said:
“The trilogue agreement we reached today is a decisive step towards gender equality. It is of paramount importance to adopt strong measures to reduce the unjustified pay gap that still exists between men and women within the EU (still 13% nowadays!). Within Renew Europe, we are strongly committed to strengthening women's rights to equal pay for equal work. In particular, I would like to stress the added value of the text, for example with strong provisions for people with disabilities, ambitious transparency and reporting obligations for companies, and specific measures to help SMEs comply with the text. Another important element is that companies reporting pay gaps exceeding 5% will have the possibility to correct the situation during a six months remedy period, after which a joint pay assessment will be triggered in case the gender pay gap has not been reduced”.