Brussels (Brussels Morning) The European Commission is proposing mandatory reporting on gender pay gaps for companies with upwards of 250 employees, Reuters reports.
Pointing out that women earn on average 14% less than men in the EU, the EC said this meant women worked for about two months each year for free compared to their male counterparts.
At the same time, the Commission noted that women on average have more career breaks and work fewer hours according to EU data.
The EC insists that the earnings gap must be narrowed citing statistics that show the disparity ranges from 1.4% in Luxembourg to 21.8% in Estonia. This week, the EC will announce plans to present regulations to improve pay transparency and to narrow the payment gap.
The move would boost transparency
According to the draft proposal, yet to be released to the public, the new EC regulations would make it obligatory for companies to report on pay disparities between the sexes.
The new rules would grant employees and job applicants access to information enabling them to compare their pay with those of others. The rules also would include provision for fining employers.
The Commission believes greater transparency about pay information would make it easier for women to determine whether they are being discriminated against and therefore help them negotiate higher wages and greater parity, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
The EC modelled its proposed new rules after regulations already in force in the UK, where companies with at least 250 employees are required to report their mean gender earnings gap.
In addition to the stipulations that would apply to larger companies, the new rules would also require smaller companies to make pay information available to workers who request it.
While insisting the earnings gap must be narrowed, the Commission’s proposal does not call for men to be paid the same as women, but rather that all pay differentials must be based on clear criteria.
EU member states will be able to make changes to the draft rules.