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Company income reports, Austria

In Austria measures were implemented in 2011 under the Equal Treatment Act to tackle the gender pay gap and achieve transparency in pay systems. This was highlighted as a priority in the 2008 national action plan for Equality between Women and Men in the Labour Market. These steps aim to tackle the gender pay gap in Austria which currently stands at 23.7% (Eurostat, 2011).

The Equal Treatment Act

The amended Equal Treatment Act requires employers with more than 1 000 employees to produce an income report in 2011 and subsequently every two years. The same obligations are required for companies with more than 500 employees since 2012, companies with more than 250 employees in 2013 and with more than 150 employees in 2014.

The Ombud for Equality also has the role of providing income data and assisting companies in making their pay data transparent. The Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) and the Chamber of Labour have actively participated in the development of these measures to improve the transparency of pay.

Making pay transparent

The income reports aim to make women and men’s pay transparent and, in this way, identify and help close the gender pay gap in a company. The reports are based on the occupation groups set out in the Collective Agreements for each company. Given that collective agreements cover around 90 % of all employees this approach can be applied to most companies. However, if there is no collective agreement in place, the income report must cover the pay levels set out in the company’s salary structure. In the event that no salary structure exists, the employer is required to set out the occupational groups in the company.

The reports are required to include information on:

  • The pay levels of women and men in each occupation group;
  • The average (the sum of all incomes of a group, divided by the number of the employees) or median income (the numerical value based on the middle of the lowest value and highest value) of women and men by occupation group and levels of pay;
  • All types of pay - bonuses, premiums, extra hours, benefits in kind etc.;
  • Full-time equivalents of part-time and partial year employment.

The report has to be forwarded to the Works Council. In companies that do not have a Works Council the report has to be made available to all employees.

Support to companies and Works Councils

In order to raise awareness and build the capacity of companies undertaking income reports support is given by the Ministry for Women’s Affairs, in partnership with the social partners and the Ombud for Equality. Resources available includes a manual setting out how the income report should be drafted and the calculation of data, a leafletpdf and guidance for Works Councilspdf, and information seminars for employers.

An on-line wage calculator

A wage calculator has been developed to help employers draw up income reports. It enables them to calculate the appropriate pay level by qualification, occupation and other factors. It can also be used by employees so that they know what the correct pay levels should be in their current jobs or when attending a job interview. The calculator takes into account education, work experience and the type of work carried out. From this data it is possible to identify the differences in women’s and men’s pay for equal work and work of an equal value.

Benefits for employees and society

Both tools offer the potential for greater transparency in pay systems. They are intended to raise awareness amongst employers and employees of the causes of and solutions to closing the gender pay gap. However, there are no sanctions to enforce companies to address the pay inequalities identified in the income reports. Despite this, by the end of 2011 around two thirds of companies had carried out income reports within the required timeframe.

For more information see the 2011 Exchange of Good Practices seminar on reducing the gender pay gap.

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