The European Commission has launched a public consultation to gather information on the impact of EU rules on equal pay. The principle of 'equal pay for equal work’ is enshrined in the EU’s Treaties, and EU law prohibits direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of sex.

The public consultation will gather input from citizens, public authorities, social partners, civil society and researchers to find ways to better implement and enforce the equal pay principle enshrined in the Gender Equality Directive and the 2014 Pay Transparency Recommendation.

Commissioner Vera Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: “Women still earn on average 16.2% less than men in the EU. This is simply unfair. This inequality has not changed over the last several years. We need to work together to bring change and make sure this inequality becomes a thing of the past.” The public consultation is one of many actions of the European Commission’s Action Plan to tackle the gender pay gap, launched in November 2017.

This action plan follows up on the 2014 Pay Transparency Recommendation, which raised awareness on the gender pay gap and encouraged companies to revise their pay structures. However, the 2017 Implementation Report of this Recommendation showed that in a third of Member States, transparency measures still do not exist.

It also concluded that the persisting gender pay gap and this limited follow-up calls for possible further measures at EU level.

The consultation on EU legislation on equal pay is available online and is open until 5 April.

More information on equal pay and the gender pay gap can be found online.