A small victory for trade unions: EU Gender Pay Transparency Directive will be proposed in 2020


Trade unions have been successful in overturning any plans to postpone the launch of the European Commission proposal for an EU Gender Pay Transparency Directive. Commissioner Helena Dalli has just confirmed that the revised European Commission Work Programme now contains a legislative initiative on binding pay transparency measures planned to be issued in the 4th quarter of 2020.

In April, a leaked revised EU Commission Work Programme seemed to indicate that the EU Pay Transparency Directive was being put on ice. The European Trade Union Confederation, ETUCE and its member organisations have sent letters to the European Commission and their designated Commissioners urging them to reconsider. The new Work Programme indicates that these initiatives have borne fruit and is an important step for ending pay secrecy clauses and other practices that work against equal payment once and for all.

European trade unions continue their work on the topic to ensure that the EU Pay Transparency Directive contains the necessary measures to bring about the meaningful change to gender equality. The European Commission should now guarantee that trade unions can successfully challenge the undervaluing of jobs done predominantly by women workers, such as jobs in the education sector. Furthermore, it must be ensured that any COVID-19 recovery measures do not exacerbate inequalities in our societies, including gender inequalities.

On the occasion, Susan Flocken, European Director, commented: ‘Ensuring equal pay is crucial in the education sector in which predominantly women are working, often underpaid and undervalued. The Gender Pay Transparency Directive needs to focus on empowering trade unions to bargain to build a new normal, where work carried out by women is properly valued and paid.’