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)

AuthorGenoveva Tisheva
4 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)
4.1 General (legal) context
4.1.1 Surveys on the gender pay gap and the difficulties of realising equal pay
There have not been surveys specifically focused on equal pay but the data given by official
sources in Bulgaria are as follows:
According to the National Statistical Institute (NSI) from its latest report on data about
women and men from 2018, the educational level of working women is higher compared
to men. The percentage of women with a university education is 40.1 % and working men
with such an education make up only 23.9 %. For the whole period from 2000 to 2016,
the average remuneration of men is higher than that of women. After 2007, the tendency
for an increase in men’s remuneration is even more noticeable. In almost all economic
activities the gender pay gap (GPG) is visible. The highest gap is recorded for the sector
‘Health and social work’з where the remuneration of women is 38.4 а lower than men’s
and in ‘Finances and insurance’з the GPG is он.м %. The remuneration amount is directly
connected with the achieved educational level. The persons with a higher educational level
of ‘doctor’ are th e ones most highly paid almost twice the average monthly sala ry for
the country. For all educational levels, the salaries for men are higher than the ones for
women. The GPG is h ighest at t he educational level of bachelor’s and master’s degree
the gross monthly pay of women with the same levels of education is 26 % lower than
men’s.41 This is official information about GPG in groups with the same or comparable level
of education, within the same sectors and sub-sectors.
The GPG is expressed further in the v alue of pensions. In the segment of retired persons
with low pensions, the ratio of women is higher. 89.5 % of women receive a basic pension
of up to BGN 400 (about EURO 200), as do 62.7 % of men. 42.2 % of women and 17.3 %
of men receive a basic pension of up to BGN 200 (about EUR 100). The maximum amount
of BGN 910 (about EUR 450) is received by 45 567 men and only 8 189 women.42 Here, it
is not possible to say clearly if it is among same educational level. Su ch figures are not
It is indicative to mention the data presented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
(MLSP) in their Draft report for the implementation of gender equality policy for 2018: The
report displays the GPG for 2017 according to the NSI 12.7 %, which is said to be lower
than the figure for 2016 13.2 %. Compared to the average percentage of GPG in the EU,
which is 16 % according to EUROSTAT, the figure for Bulgaria is lower. It is the conclusion
of the MLSP that the data mentioned about the GPG should not be regard ed as an
expression of inequality between women and men. It is said that differences are
conditioned by characteristics of the employers and the concrete economic activity, the
size of the firm, as well as by the individual characteristics of the employed persons age,
educational level, qualification, profession, and expertise. The reasons for the GPG include:
traditions and stereotypes in the selection of education, which leads to sex segregation of
the labour market; career development delayed career development, longer maternity
leave, difficult balance between work and family life; the new production technologies and
the requirements for continuous training, vocational training and capacity building, which
is a challenge for women who have to combine it with family obligations and chose family
or work.43
41 National Statistical Institute Women and men in Bulgaria’з ‘     2018,
42 Ibid.
43 Draft report on gender equality for 2018 no official document yet, MLSP April 2019.

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