Instruments to decrease the gender pay gap in business companies
The exchange of good practices organised in Germany on 5th-6th of December 2011 discussed ways of reducing the gender pay gap. Germany and Austria presented their good practices in the field.
The pay gap in Germany (about 23%) is quite high compared to the EU average of 17%. To address this issue, Germany introduced the so called Logib-D (Lohngleichheit im Betrieb – Deutschland / Pay Equality in Companies in Germany) software tool consisting of a number of modules that build upon each other:
- A software allows companies to conduct statistical assessments of pay equality, identifying the possible reasons of the existence of a gender pay gap within their organisations;
- A free consultation package for companies includes a label for those companies who have used the Logib tool;
- An up-to-date website on pay equality.
In Austria women earn on average a quarter less than men. An amendment of the Equal Treatment Act shall help to improve the situation. It contains a gradual plan for the implementation of the obligation imposed on companies over a certain size to draw up staff income reports. This is complemented by compulsory information on pay conditions in all job advertisement and the transfer of more competencies to the Ombud in dealing with pay discrimination issues. These provisions aim at creating more pay transparency.
The discussions during the seminar highlighted the significance of data availability and quality, the importance of a lifecycle approach to the subject, the role of the employers as well as the social partners in tackling the gender pay gap and the need to embed these measures in wider strategies addressing the reasons behind the gap. Furthermore, there was a consensus on the fact that the benefits gained by companies who promote gender equality in their organisations should be more often highlighted. Finally, it was stressed that gender equality policies need to be maintained also in times of crisis.