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Equal Pay Days / Raising awareness

EPSU member ‘Kommunal’ produced a video “How to get a raise in 47 seconds”


In Austria, Equal Pay Day has been celebrated annually during the month of April since 2009. Activities have included encouraging women to ask questions about pay in their workplaces, as well as inviting companies to analyse their own pay structures to see if there is a pay gap between male and female employees. The Day is organised by Business and Professional Women (BPW) Austria. During the autumn, on the 8th of October 2013, another Equal Pay Day is held to mark the day when men already earned what women will have earned at the end of the year, as women in Austria earn around 23% less than men for full-time work. On the occasion of the Equal Pay Day several organisations organised public awareness activities, e.g. the Austrian Trade Union Federation organised flashmobs. 


Belgium was the first country in Europe to organise an Equal Pay Day in 2005. The campaign focused the attention of the public and of policymakers on the pay gap between women and men. Since then, the Equal Pay Day has taken place every year. Equal Pay Day has developed into a series of controversial campaigns which have included posters and video clips to draw attention to the issue of equal pay.  On 18 March 2014, the FGTB celebrated the tenth edition of the Equal Pay Day.

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, an Equal Pay Day has been organised by Business and Professional Women (BPW) since 2010. The 4th EPD in the Czech Republic took place on 24 April 2013 in the Clarion Congress Hotel. In the morning a conference entitled “Count on us” was attended by more than 100 experts from various fields. In the afternoon, a mentoring activity was held, where 31 entrepreneurs and managers passed on their experience to about 600 young women. During the whole day the traditional red bag with the logo of the event was handed out. Information can be find on facebook and youtube.


In Estonia, the National Equal Pay Day 2013 is celebrated on 11 April. The main promoter of activities is Business and Professional Women-Estonia. The traditional action focused on serving salmon meals with or without dill for different prices, demonstrating the gender pay gap in Estonia, will remain the same. In 2013, there will be a special focus on young people and employers, therefore, cafeterias of universities and enterprises have a bigger relevance this year. The BPW is also planning to continue collecting people`s opinions and experiences, with a specific focus on transparent and fair wage systems, which is the main message of the whole campaign in 2013.


On 21 March 2014, BPW Germany conducted a series of information events for multipliers with the aim to stimulate a variety of actions across the country with the focus on "Part-time in the course of life". On the same date, the trade union DGB demonstrated in various German cities and chose different professions to highlight the existence of the gender pay gap.


On 21 March 2013, following the Equal Pay Day, the Ministry of Welfare organised a discussion about equal pay between men and women in Latvia. Among the discussion participants were public officials, employers, human resource professionals, career consultants, anthropologists, labour law experts, etc.


On 6 March 2013 Portugal celebrated its first National Equal Pay Day. In order to raise awareness about the persistence of the gender pay gap, CITE launched a campaign to be released in public transport, and posters were distributed across the country. On the same date, the trade union UGT organized a seminar pdfabout wage inequalities.


The National Equal Pay Day, held on 30 March 2013, was organised by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family. Information and leaflets on wage differences between men and women were disseminated.


Equal Pay Day has been celebrated on 22 February each year since 2010. The Day is organised by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality. Activities have included the production of a logo, stamps and lottery tickets with a special design which raises awareness of the day and its aims, and the celebration of conferences and seminars. On the occasion of this date, the trade union UGT published a report on gender and employment. 


Sweden has celebrated Equal Pay Day during April since 2011. Recent activities have included a round table with female participants, comprising the CEO of a large company, a police officer and heads of a university and a regional council, to debate different aspects of equal pay. The main organiser is BPW Sweden.

For the International Women’s Day 2012, the Swedish Women’s Lobby initiated an extensive campaign to raise awareness on the current gender pay gap. The campaign involved a large number of workers unions, political parties and women's rights organizations. The message: "After 15:51 women work for free - every day. It is time for pay all day", circulated all over the Internet.


In Switzerland, companies can be awarded an equal pay label if they show that they have introduced a fair wage policy between women and men. To be awarded a label each company must undergo a salary evaluation to verify that its employees receive equal pay. This is followed by an on-site audit that focuses on the company's management and human resources systems. If both are successful, the company will receive its equal pay label and a logo which can be used, for example, on its website and in recruitment adverts. Launched in 2005, the equal-salary scheme is run in cooperation with the Geneva University Employment Observatory.

United Kingdom

The Equal Pay Day in the UK has been organised by the Fawcett Society since 2009. The date, which varies depending on the country’s gender pay gap that year, marks the point at which women working full-time effectively stop earning compared to what men earn.  In 2013, the Equal Pay Day was on 7 November. The day was also supported by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), as well as other unions and campaigning organisations. The TUC conducted an analysis of the size of the gender pay gap in occupations across the workforce.  In certain professions the gender pay gap is much wider: health, culture, media, sport and manufacturing occupations. The analysis also showed that the gender pay gap across the private sector was higher than in the public sector, and the gender pay gap is even wider for women working part-time.