Equal Pay Day: Joint Statement by Vice-President Jourová and Commissioners Schmit and Dalli

Women in the European Union still earn less than men on average. For every 1 euro men earn, women earn 86 cents. European Equal Pay Day is a day marking the path left towards achieving pay equality between women and men in the EU. This year, European Equal Pay Day falls on 10th November.

Ahead of this symbolic day, Věra Jourová (pictured above), Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, and Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality, said:

“Equality is one of the EU's fundamental values and it is the bedrock to people's independence and freedom. Women and men deserve equal pay, treatment and opportunities.

"While equal pay between men and women has been enshrined in EU treaties for more than 60 years, it is not fully implemented. Despite improvements to women's positions in social and professional life, pay differences remain wide and entrenched.

"The factors behind the gender pay gap are manifold: care responsibility falls predominantly on women who consequently more often work part-time. Women often work in lower paid sectors and lower paid jobs within sectors. They face the problem of the corporate glass ceiling, and are paid less than men for performing the same work or work of equal value. This has a knock-on effect on their pensions which are also lower. Progress on narrowing the gender pay gap has been, and continues to be, slow.

"Disregard for the equal pay principle remains untraced and a lack of pay transparency consistently puts women and some men at a disadvantage.

"Through the proposal towards a Pay Transparency Directive earlier this year, the Commission aims to empower workers with concrete tools to assert their rights, and most importantly to strengthen the application of equal pay in companies.

"Organisations that take the time to develop standards around pay transparency and compensation, are better placed to attract top talent and become tomorrow's leaders. Today's employees and young generations as well as tomorrow's workforce expect more from employers in terms of inclusion and fairness.

"On this symbolic day the Commission calls upon the co-legislators to adopt the Pay Transparency Directive without undue delay.”

Nine out of ten Europeans – women and men - think that it is unacceptable that women are paid less than men for the same work or work of equal value. European workers agree with pay transparency: 64% of them have said they are in favour of the publication of average wages by job type and gender at their company.

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European Commission press service, Brussels.

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