This article was last updated on March 30, 2023
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Closing the pay gap between men and women
Transparency in salaries has the potential to reduce the pay gap between men and women, as demonstrated by a new law recently signed by the European Union.
The law prohibits wage secrecy and requires employers to provide information about the average salary within job groups, separated by gender. Companies with 100 or more employees must publish reports on their salaries, and the pay gap should not exceed five percent. The law also shifts the burden of proof to employers, who must demonstrate that there was no discrimination if an employee raises the issue.
The law includes non-binary people for the first time and prohibits asking for the last salary when applying for a job. However, economist Sophie van Gool notes that women may still be placed in the wrong salary scale and that the wage gap also exists in secondary conditions such as leasing a car, holidays, and bonuses. Member states have three years to implement the guidelines, and Van Gool expects resistance and possible evasion of the guidelines from commercial companies.
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