Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission has proposed new rules to enforce equal pay on which the EU Parliament is to vote this week.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the EC stressed: “the new directive aims to ensure the effective enforcement of equal pay for men and women, bring more transparency in the setting of pay and improve access to justice for those who suffered of pay discrimination.”
EC President Ursula von der Leyen stated that the Commission wants the EU “to remain a trailblazer in women’s rights” and added, “equal work deserves equal pay.”
She expressed the belief that the EC needs to introduce new rules to make sure that companies are paying men and women equally for the same job and concluded “women must know whether their employers treat them fairly.”
EC Vice President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová stated “we need more transparency on pay levels, starting already at job interviews… the new pay transparency rules will be a game changer for women” in the EU.
EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli pointed out that companies “will have to explain the pay level for a new job right from the beginning” and added, “those that were discriminated should get their money back… it is a step towards a Europe where women in all their diversity can thrive equally.”
The EC reminded that it proposed new rules in March 2021 “to ensure that women and men in the EU receive equal pay for equal work and for work of equal value.”
At the same time, the body stated that “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.”
Von der Leyen announced new bloc-wide rules on pay transparency as one of the priorities of the Commission and started drawing up measures in 2019.
In 2020, the EC released its Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 aimed at closing the gap in earnings between the two sexes, and the Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in External Action.