Equal pay for work of equal value

Presentation made by Silvana Cappuccio,  from CGIL Italy, at the event on Equal pay for work of equal value, March 22, organized by the ILO with the Brazilian and Belgian governments.Gender pay gap reflects the ongoing discrimination and inequalities in the world of work.

Regarding the implementation of the norms on equal opportunity and equal treatment, the most problematic area in the EU does remain that of the practical application of the equal pay provisions.

Legislation provisions and their implementation are necessary but not enough. Social dialogue and collective bargaining are key instruments to redress inequalities and fight against discrimination on women as far as concerns employment, pay, working conditions, career advancement, vocational training. It can impact and shape the job classification systems and related wages.

There is a growing number of working poor women. Negative effects of the austerity measures undertaken in the European countries on the gender pay gap, which already existed before 2008 but which was stressed by the Government decisions.

Those measures undermined the social partners’ autonomy and have disproportionate impacts on the employment insecurity, part-time work, and occupational segregation and produced major cuttings in wages of the public sector.

A gender impact assessment is not in place.   Increasing earning inequalities between the highest and the lowest income earners had profound implications on women.

That is why there is needed an urgent investment in quality public services for all, also in order to address the equal pay for work of equal value.

The main challenges in achieving equal pay are:

  • disaggregated data (at national, sectoral and company levels),
  • transparency of wages,
  • gender training for negotiators,
  • centralized collective bargaining system, as higher is the degree of coordination in wage setting (e.g. at sectoral level) more equal is the distribution of the pay and successful the integration on gender equality issues into the collective bargaining.


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