Conservatives and Liberals "lack ambition" to close gender pay gap

During a vote in the European Parliament in Brussels, Liberals and Conservatives voted watered down an amendment introduced jointly by the Socialists and Democrats and the Greens calling to introduce concrete and binding measures to close the gender pay gap.

The measures include clear criteria for assessing the value of work, gender-neutral job evaluation and classification systems, mandatory gender pay audits and reports to guarantee equal pay, workers’ entitlement to request full pay information and right to redress, as well as clear targets for companies' equality performance.

The vote comes before the presentation of a Gender Equality Strategy by Commissioner Dalli ahead of the International women’s Day in March.

Evelyn Regner, S&D MEP and Chair of the Women`s rights and Gender Equality Committee, said:“Even though the principle of equal pay for equal work has always been enshrined in the EU treaties and discrimination between men and women with regards to any component of the salary is forbidden, women today still earn 16% less per hour than their male colleagues. For retired women the gap is even more dramatic: they receive 40% less in pensions then men. This gap has its roots in sexism. Women are paid less simply because they are women. To have real equality and fair pay, we need a directive that creates transparency, imposes sanctions and gives compensation to those affected. The Gender Pay Gap Action Plan must alsobe up-dated this year to set clear targets for member states.”

”We support Commissioner Dalli in her commitment to take action to introduce binding pay transparency measures within the EU. Now, we're expecting her to present a comprehensive Gender Equality Strategy including the foreseen binding measures on pay transparency within the next month."

Agnes Jongerius, S&D MEP and spokesperson on employment and social affairs, said: “I was disappointed to see the conservatives and liberals are not ready to close the gender pay gap by introducing binding measures. That women today still earn 16 percent less per hour than their male colleagues clearly shows that nice words are not enough. What women now need are deeds: full pay transparency in private and public companies, as well as sanctions and penalties for non-compliance.

“Ursula Von der Leyen promised to close the gender pay gap during her mandate and we will make sure she delivers on her promise. Sadly, her own party does not support her in the battle for gender equality”

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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