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The role of collective agreements

In most countries collective agreements are the most important mechanisms for wage setting. The social partners can use collective bargaining to uncover pay differentials or prevent them from emerging in the first place. Mainstreaming equal pay into collective bargaining can have positive effects regarding work organisation, skills development, job motivation and industrial relations. The experience across Europe is that centrally negotiated collective agreements can work in favour of equal pay, whereas this is harder to achieve in the case of decentralised bargaining.

Collective agreements are essential to ensuring that there is non-discrimination in pay systems and pay transparency. They have a key role to play in detecting invisible gender bias in the historic setting of pay scales and providing for job evaluation free of gender bias.

The examples featured aim to show different approaches that are used including equality allowances for female dominated sectors and job evaluation.

In this section you will find examples of

Other examples of social partner agreements can be found in the Action at national level: examples section.

Please find here all the documents related to the gender pay gap.