MEP Maria Walsh

MEPS vote to end gender pay gap

MEP Maria Walsh MEP has welcomed a European Parliament vote in favour of ending the 14.1 per cent gender pay gap between men and women within the EU.

“I am delighted that the Parliament has heard our repeated call for greater measures to improve the implementation of equal pay and binding measures on pay transparency,” said MEP Walsh, who represented the EPP Group on the Parliament’s Employment Committee on this legislation.

“The 14.1% pay gap between women and men must end. The gender pension gap in the EU is even worse - standing at 30pc,” she commented.

While 17 member states currently support pay equality measures, there is still a wide equality gap to close between men and women, according to the Midlands North West MEP.

“Lack of pay transparency impairs an individual's ability to detect and challenge gender pay discrimination. In addition, workers filing a pay discrimination complaint face several obstacles to fair justice and can be fearful of stigmatisation and even retaliation by the employer.”

Equal pay for equal work has been enshrined in both Irish and EU law for decades - but the enforcement has been inadequate, Ms. Walsh underlined.

“In Ireland, while we have recently passed the Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021, this directive will strengthen efforts to tackle the persisting gender pay gap.

“The proposal is carefully designed and takes into account the current challenges faced by employers, especially in the private sector. It takes a proportionate approach, designing the measures in such a way as to minimise costs for employers”, she added.

Some 403 MEPs voted in favour of the mandate to support equal pay and greater transparency during a vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week, 166 Members voted against, while 58 abstained.

The parliament will now enter into negotiations with EU governments on a commission proposal for a pay transparency directive.