Date

14 Apr 2008

Sections

Innovation & Enterprise
Social Europe & Jobs

On the occasion of ‘Equal Pay Day’, the action day calling for fairer pay for men and women being held at the moment in many EU countries, President of CESI’s FEMM Equal Opportunities committee Kirsten Lühmann said:

“In CESI’s view, there is an urgent need to take action to do away with the persistent structural discrimination against women. Only a fair distribution of paid and unpaid work can ultimately lead to actual equal pay. Here, employers must also create the kind of conditions which accommodate changing family models and income distribution. Some examples of this are (1) workplace crèches, (2) more flexible working hours and (3) a greater employment of alternative types of work such as teleworking”.

“On ‘Equal Pay Day’, women have the same salary in their account as men on 31 December last year. In other words, they have to work longer to earn the same income“, observed Kirsten Lühmann. “Given that women in the EU earn on average 15 per cent less than men, they are also setting aside a smaller pension. Old-age poverty and the need for the state to intervene with financial support are often the knock-on effect.”

The demand ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’ is one hundred years old, but it still strikes a chord. According to a European Commission report published in February 2007, women in the EU earn on average 15 per cent less than their male counterparts. The pay gap is even greater in Germany (22 per cent) in Estonia, Slovakia (both 24 per cent) and Cyprus (25 per cent). In some countries, such as Italy and Belgium, the pay gap is below double figures (7 and 6 per cent). This said, in none of the European countries surveyed did women earn more than men.

Note to the editor:
CESI was founded in 1990 as a European umbrella organisation for free and independent trade unions. It represents the interests of eight million employees in both the public and private sectors. CESI is recognised by the European Commission as social partner