Written by Marie Lecerf (4th edition, updated on 26.06.2023).
Equal pay for equal work is one of the European Union’s founding principles, enshrined in Article 157 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). However, the implementation and enforcement of this principle remain a challenge. Due to a lack of pay transparency, pay discrimination often goes undetected and victims face difficulties in making a claim for redress.
On 4 March 2021, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal on binding pay transparency measures. The proposed directive to strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work, or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms, focuses on measures to ensure pay transparency and better access to justice for victims of pay discrimination.
The Council agreed its approach on the proposal on 6 December 2021. On 5 April 2022, Parliament voted to confirm the joint committee’s negotiating mandate on the proposal with a view to initiating informal trilogue negotiations with the Council. Interinstitutional negotiations started on 30 June. On 15 December 2022, after five trilogue meetings, an agreement on the proposal was reached. The Parliament adopted the text in plenary on 30 March 2023, and on 24 April, the Council also did so. The Directive was published in the Official Journal on 17 May 2023, and has to be transposed into national law by the Member States by 7 June 2026.
- June 2023: Equal pay for equal work between men and women: Pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms (4th edition)
|Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council to strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms|
|Committees responsible:||Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL)||COM(2021) 0093|
|Co-rapporteurs:||Rafaela Samira (Renew Europe, the Netherlands)|
Kira Marie Peter-Hansen (Greens/EFA, Denmark)
|Next steps expected:||Directive (EU) 2023/970|
OJ L 132, 17.5.2023, pp. 21–44
|Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on |
equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)