The time for pay transparency is now!

8 March 2021 Pay Transparency EPSU logo

(8 March 2021) In the past year of pandemic, we have all appreciated the importance of public services and applauded the workers who deliver them. The majority of these workers are women and, on international women’s day, EPSU wishes to celebrate them not with applause but with a promise: to keep fighting for better and fair pay, free from gender discrimination and bias.

A few days ago, the EU Commission published its proposal for a Pay Transparency Directive, and today, we are launching a brief on why a strong EU Directive on pay transparency is important in the public sector. This brief will be followed by a longer study in the coming weeks on gender neutral job classification and evaluation, because it is time to stop to undervaluing women’s work and guaranteeing equal pay for work of equal value.

Pay transparency measures could go a long way to uncovering some of the ‘unexplained’ or structural causes of unequal pay in public services, including:

• Occupational segregation: women work predominately in a sector where their work is lower paid and under-valued, compared to sectors with a predominantly male workforce .

• Systemic and historical under-evaluation of women’s work, based on gender stereotypes and prejudices.

• Traditional job evaluation methods and job classification systems designed on the basis of the requirements of male-dominated jobs, which often allow more possibilities for career progression, compared to female-dominated jobs.

• Weaker bargaining power of female workers and the fact that women disproportionately hold part-time or precarious jobs.

Follow the mobilisation of the EPSU Youth network for International Women’s Day here

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