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EU gender pay gap: closing but more needs to be done
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Published on 28-02-13

The hourly pay rates for women across the EU is on average 16.2% lower than for men – and 19.5% lower in the UK - according to figures released to coincide with European Equal Pay Day. The EU-wide event marks the extra number of days that women would need to work to match the amount earned by men: currently 59 days, meaning this year the day falls on 28 February.

    EU gender pay gap: closing but more needs to be done

    Estonia has the largest gender pay gap at 27.7% and the lowest is Slovenia with 0.9%.

    The figures compare the position across Europe in 2010 and reveal a slight downward trend in recent years.  The first Equal Pay Day in 2011 was held on 5 March and last year it was held on the 2 March.

    A "Business Forum" on 21 March 2013 in Brussels will bring together more than 150 companies from all over Europe to exchange experiences in fostering gender equality, in particular tackling the causes of the gender pay gap.

    "European Equal Pay Day reminds us of the unequal pay conditions women still face in the labour market. While the pay gap has declined in the recent years, there’s no reason to celebrate. The pay gap is still very large and much of the change actually resulted from a decline in men’s earnings rather than an increase for women”, said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner.

    "The principle of equal pay for equal work is written in the EU Treaties since 1957. It is high time that it is put in practice everywhere."

    The Commission is preparing a report on the application of the Equal Pay Directive 2006/54/EC which is due to be published in the summer. This will focus on assessing the application of the provisions on equal pay in practice, but an overview of the landmark EU case-law on equal pay, as well as non-binding guidance on gender-neutral job evaluation and job classification systems, will also feature.

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    Last update: 28/02/2013  |Top