Equal pay and equal treatment at work (Article 157 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Recast Directive 2006/54)

AuthorKristīne Dupate
4 Equal pay and equal treatment at work (Article 157 of the Treaty on the
Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Recast D irective 2006/54)
4.1 General (legal) context
4.1.1 Surveys on the gender pay gap and the difficulties of realising equal pay
There are no national level surveys or reports regarding gender pay gap probl ems.
4.1.2 Surveys on the difficulties of realising equal treatment at work
There is one national level survey on the compliance with the principle of non-
discrimination with regard to employed parents with young children in employment carried
out by the Ombudsperson in 2017.72 The main conclusions are t he following:
1) the empl oyers do not generally choose the employees according t o their sex; the
situation where an employer employs more women than men has more to do with a
lower level of pay in the sector, thus men less frequently apply for those positions
(i.e. job applicants in lower-pay sectors are more often female th an male);
2) although the employers stressed that they do not ask questions regarding family
status or pregnancy during a job interview, the employees both men and women
provided the opposite opinion;
3) the majority of respondents (employees) have indicated a positive attitude from the
employer during period of pregnancy; this als o applies to the provision of the rights
after return from parental leave;
4) the majority of respondents indicated that in the case where the emplo yer provides
additional health insurance (additional to that provided by the state), pregnancy and
health-care services related to giving bi rth are not included; in addition, the
employers do not provide health insurance during parental leave;
5) the employers are not satisfied if an employee too frequently uses the right to leave
to care for a sick child-care;
6) it follows from the responses that the majority of employers provide specific rights
connected with pregnancy/maternity and pa renting, however, there is some part o f
employer which does not provide any such rights.
4.1.3 Other issues
The major problem in Latvia is that n either political, nor executive power recognises
gender equality as a problem. It is due to the fact that indicators on women’s participation
in the labour market (Latvia 72.7 %; EU-28 66.5 %);73 gender pay gap (Latvia
15.7 %; EU-28 16 %);74 and women in decision-making bodies are relatively high in the
average EU-28 context. However, such favourable statistics cannot be explained by factual
gender equality but rather by a considerably higher level of education of women and the
fact that wom en in Latvia are used to bearing a double obligation burden the majority
still work on a full-time basis, while spending considerably more hours on family and
household work. Latvia is also an EU country with the highest dispropo rtion between
women and men (54 % women; 46 % men) in the general p opulation.75
72 LR Tiesbsargs, ptjums ‘Diskrimincijas aizlieguma ievrošana pret mazu brnu veckiem’, 2017 available
in Latvian at:
73 Eurostat 2018, available at:
74 Eurostat statistics Gender Pay Gap 2017, available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-
75 Eurostat statistics February 2019, available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-

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