Researchequal opportunities, Europe, inequality, labour, pay gap

Gender equality in employment and occupation

Publication date: 05/2015
Gender equality in employment and occupation
Authors: Helmut Werner, Susanne Burri, Marcella Corsi, Isabell M. Welpe, Prisca Brosi, Tanja Schwarzmüller, Dorota Szelewa
Committente: Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) of the European Parliament

The principle of equal pay is anchored in the EEC founding Treaty of 1957. Directive 2006/54/EC was a recast of secondary law dating back to 1975 pursuing gender equality in (access to) employment and it ‘consolidated’ case law in this area developed by the European Court of Justice. In many resolutions, the European Parliament has called for rendering legislation more effective in reducing or eliminating the persistent gender pay gap (GPG) and, more generally, in guaranteeing equal conditions for men and women at work and equal opportunities for access to work.

For this European Implementation Assessment, input was received from four independent groups of experts on discrete aspects of the application of the Recast Directive:

  • legal aspects and in particular direct and indirect discrimination;
  • effectiveness of the Directive in tackling the equal pay and pension gap;
  • proper consideration of the role of job evaluation and classification systems;
  • necessary protection of pregnancy and the role of maternity leave and related schemes in view of gender equality at work and for careers.

The introduction compares the findings of the Commission’s impact assessment of 7 March 2014 to the Commission's recommendation of 7 March 2014 on reducing the GPG. Then the findings and recommendations of the research papers are presented in a condensed form. The conclusion is that there is a very strong case for immediate and vigorous actions at EU level, going beyond voluntary measures, in line with EP resolutions.

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