Special thanks to guest contributors Monica Kurnatowska, Bernhard Trappehl and James Brown.

In brief

The EU Commission has proposed a directive that would reinforce the entitlement to equal pay for men and women for the same work, or work of equal value, including by giving employees the right to comparative pay information and by requiring gender pay gap reporting for employers with 250+ employees, amongst other measures. Some EU member states already have aspects of these rules, while others do not, meaning that the rules could be a significant additional compliance burden for some organisations. The rules, if adopted, would be unlikely to come into force before late 2024.

Key takeaways

The EU Commission has proposed a new directive on pay transparency. If adopted, it would:

  • Require measures to ensure employers pay the same work, or work of equal value, equally.
  • Require employers to provide initial salary (or salary range) information to job applicants, pre-interview.
  • Prohibit employers from asking job applicants about salary history.
  • Create a right for a worker to request information about:
  • Their own pay level
  • Average pay levels, broken down by gender and categories of workers doing the same work / work of equal value
  • Require gender pay gap (GPG) reporting for employers with 250+ employees.
  • Create joint pay assessments if:
  • GPG is 5%+ for any category of workers doing the same work or work of equal value, and
  • employer has not justified the GPG.

Based on previous experience, we estimate that these proposals, if adopted, would need to be implemented by sometime in late 2024.


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