It’s a compliance thing…

Below is an up-to-date summary of the latest legislation within the European Union concerning gender pay gap reporting and equal pay legislation presented by country.

The 2009 Discrimination Act requires employers (with 10 or more workers) to carry out an annual Equal Pay Audit/Report leading to an equal pay action plan in collaboration with local trade unions. The report needs to include analysis of Like work (equal work), equivalent work (work of equivalent value) and diametrical analysis of female-dominated roles.

Since 2005 employers with more than 30 employees need to publish a gender equality plan every second year. The plan should include job classifications and the pay gap as well as actions taken to push for more gender equality within the coming year.

The Norwegian Equality Act stipulates that men and women in the same undertaking shall receive equal pay for the same work or work of equal value. Employers are required to provide written confirmation of the pay level and the criteria for the setting of pay to an individual employee who suspects that they are discriminated.

The Danish Equal Pay Act stipulates that companies with more than 35 full time employees annually shall prepare gender-segregated wage statistics using the DISCO-8 codes or similar. The duty only applies to companies that employ a minimum of 10 men and women with comparable job functions.

United Kingdom:
In compliance with the Gender Equality Act 2010 and the gender pay gap regulations (2014) in force from 6 April 2017 employers with more than 250 employees need to publish gender pay gap information annually. Six different metrics needs to be published on both the designated government site as well as on the company’s external website. The deadline for the first gender pay gap report is April 4, 2018.

In addition to gender pay gap reporting the Gender Equality Act 2010 gives employees the right to write to their employer asking for information that will help them establish whether there is a pay difference, and if so, the reasons for the difference. If an employee cannot resolve the problem informally or through the formal grievance procedure, they may complain to an employment tribunal. Since 1 October 2014 employers who lose equal pay claims could be forced to conduct an equal pay audit and publish the results.

Act to Promote Transparency of Pay Structures (Entgelttransparenzgesetz) came into effect July 6 2017. Companies with over 200 employees may face claims for information about the average monthly gross salary of at least six colleagues of the other gender who perform the same work or work of equal value.

Companies with more than 500 employees are obliged to publish regular reports on their efforts to promote equality, and implementation of operational review procedures and safeguards to ensure compliance with equal pay, starting in 2018. They will also be encouraged to implement internal audits of their pay structures in collaboration with trade unions.

Businesses employing 50 or more staff must produce a written annual report for the works council comparing the situation of men and women in the company. This must comprise a comparative analysis in terms of recruitment, training, qualifications, pay, working conditions and a balance between professional and private life, supported with relevant statistically-based indicators.

The government will implement new measures and companies with more than 250 employees will be forced to implement a payroll software during 2019 that will detect unjustified pay gaps between men and women. Companies will have three years to correct any discrepancies or they might face a fine of up to one percent of their salary costs. Smaller companies employing 50 – 249 people will have until 2020 to fall in line with the governments new action plan.

National Action Plan for Gender Equality in the Labour Market includes a compulsory requirement for companies to publish equal pay reports.

Companies must draw up staff income reports every two years. The reports must show the number of men and women classified under each category as well as the average or median income, adjusted for working time, for women and men in the respective category. The government goal is to create income transparency and take measures to reduce gender pay gaps.

In 2012, Belgium adopted a law on reducing the gender pay gap. Differences in pay and labour costs between men and women should be outlined in companies’ annual audits.

The annual audits are transmitted to the national bank and information is publicly available.

Every two years, firms with over 50 workers should establish a comparative analysis of the wage structure of female and male employees. If women earn less than men, the firm is obliged to produce an action plan.

The Spanish Gender Equality Act from 2007 stipulates that companies with more than 250 employees are obliged to formulate and implement gender equality plans, which must be negotiated with the workers’ representations. The gender equality plan needs to include the principle of gender equality and equal pay for equal work and work of equal value.

Article 46 of the Code of Equal Opportunities on the release of information on pay to individuals and other data. It provides that, every two years, public and private companies employing more than 100 employees shall submit to Regional Equality Advisers and trade unions a report concerning the situation of male and female employees in all jobs existing in a company, in relation to appointments, training, professional promotion, pay levels, mobility between categories and grades, other mobility aspects, redundancy funds, dismissals, early retirement and retirement, and the remuneration actually paid.