Women in the EU earn less than men, with the average gender pay gap in the EU being 13%. Translated, this means that for every euro earned by a man, a woman earns only 0.87 euros. Today, November 15, is Equal Pay Day, the date that marks how many extra days women have to work by the end of the year to earn the same amount men earned in the same year. This gender pay gap is equivalent to a pay difference of approximately one and a half months per year.

The day of the year when women stop getting paid on average compared to men is called Equal Pay Day. The European Commission celebrates this day every year to raise awareness of the fact that female workers in Europe continue to earn less on average. of their male colleagues. A date that obviously changes depending on the latest data on the gender pay gap in the EU. 12 EU countries also organize equal pay days individually based on the respective pay gap in their country: they are France, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia and Are Cyprus. In Italy, it does not exist.

“Equal Pay Day serves as a reminder to continue our efforts to close the gender pay gap. “Equal pay for equal work or for work of equal value is one of the founding principles of the EU, enshrined in the 1957 Treaty of Rome” recall EU Vice-President for Values ​​and Transparency Vera Jourova and Equality Commissioner Helena. Do it Dalli.

The right to equal pay for women and men for equal work or work of equal value has been a founding principle of the European Union since the Treaty of Rome in 1957. The obligation to ensure equal pay is established by Article 157 TFTU and the EU Directive. On equal opportunities and treatment of men and women in matters of employment and employment.

In EU countries, especially Italy, the gender gap and pay gap remain deep wounds. Yet the European Commission continuously works to promote equality between women and men. President Ursula von der Leyen has announced binding measures on pay transparency as one of her political priorities for this Commission. In June 2019, the Council called on the Commission to develop concrete measures to increase pay transparency. In March 2020, the Commission published the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 setting out actions to close the gender pay gap, followed a few months later by the 2021-2025 Action Plan on gender equality and women’s empowerment in external action.

The Pay Transparency Directive came into force last June, meaning employees will be able to claim their right to equal pay for equal work or work of equal value through the right to pay information. People who have experienced pay discrimination based on gender are also entitled to compensation for unpaid work and should be paid fairly. Now, as always, the ball is in the court of the member states.

The Pay Transparency Directive came into force on 6 June 2023. It establishes a clear framework for the concept of “work of equal value” and the application of criteria including skills, commitment, responsibility and working conditions. Help workers recognize and address the discrimination they experience. The Directive also helps employers to assess whether their pay structure respects the principle of equal pay in practice.

Member states have three years to transpose it into national law. The directive will ensure that women and men in the EU receive equal pay for equal work. The European Commission intends to support the development of tools and methodologies to enable European employers to correct any unfair gender pay gap. To this end, the Commission is allocating €6.1 million under the Citizenship, Equality, Rights and Values ​​(CERV) program to support the implementation of the Pay Transparency Directive in Member States.

In December 2022, the Directive came into force with the aim of improving gender balance on boards of directors. It addresses one of the main root causes of the gender pay gap, the so-called “glass ceiling” caused by the lack of transparency in the appointments of corporate board members. The instructions will ensure that appointments to Board posts are transparent and candidates for Board posts are assessed fairly on the basis of their individual merits, regardless of gender.

In September 2022, the Commission presented a European healthcare strategy to ensure quality, affordable and accessible care services across the EU. The strategy includes two recommendations for Member States on the revision of the Barcelona targets on early childhood education and care and on access to high quality and affordable long-term care.

The Commission also addresses the under-representation of women in the labor market by improving the work-life balance of working parents and carers. The new directive on work-life balance came into force on 2 August 2022.

The Commission proposal on an adequate minimum wage for workers, adopted on 28 October 2020, supports gender equality by reducing the gender pay gap and helping to lift women out of poverty, as more women than men in Europe Earn minimum wage.

In March 2023, the European Commission launched a campaign challenging gender stereotypes. It draws attention to gender stereotypes in career choices, caregiving and decision making.

As far as Italy is concerned, based on the latest INPS Observatory data on private sector employees, a remarkable pay gap emerges: about 8 thousand euros less per year for women. The gender pay gap is increasing even further, albeit slightly compared to 2021, when it was equal to 7,908 euros, while in 2022 it will increase to 7,922. In detail, the average annual salary at national level for male employees in the private sector is 26,227 euros, while for their colleagues it drops to 18,305.

One of the reasons that partially justify the inequality in pay practices should be seen in the greater presence of part-time workers, a formula that is paid less than full-time. In this regard, in 2022 there were more than 3.5 million women working part-time compared to just over 2 million men. The pay gap is linked not only to gender, but also to chronological age and regional area. In the first case, the salaries of today’s youth are certainly low compared to the cost of living and purchasing power and it is also unlikely that in the future they will be able to reach the salaries of current senior profiles.

However, as far as different regions of the country are concerned, the INPS Observatory highlights that the average salary in private companies in the North West regions is definitely higher than in other regional areas. Specifically, if in the northwest the average is 26,933 euros per year, in the northeast it drops to 23,947 euros, in the center it reaches 22,115 euros, which is almost 5 thousand euros less. This difference increases even more compared to the average salary of 16,959 euros in the regions of the south and 16,641 euros of the islands, which is less than 10 thousand euros.

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