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)

AuthorThomasberger, Martina
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
The persisting gender pay gap in the private sector in Austria has frequently been
demonstrated in the pertinent Eurostat evaluations of European Member States. Austria
has one of the highest and most persistent gender pay gaps in the EU -28. This results
from a mix of root causes such as gaps in childcare facilities and adequate day care for
school children, a high rate of part-time work among female employees, and a very
unequal distribution of paid and unpaid work between men and women. Current
Government policies are widely seen to stabilise and possibly widen the gender pay gap.36
The annual national statistics confirm these findings.37 An effective measure to battle wage
gaps would be better and more rigorous legislation on pay transparency with a broader
access of possible claimants in court cases to pay data at company levels.
4.1.2 Surveys on the difficulties of realising equal treatment at work
No recent surveys are available regarding specific difficulties.
Again, the lack of accessible data for direct comparisons is an important obstacle to
effective enforcement of equal treatment legislation at company level.
An action day for equal pay has been institutionalised by a cooperation of NGOs.38 Every
year the concrete date from which paid female labour (in comparison to paid male labour)
starts, sees multiple events and information campaigns with the goal to lessen the wage
4.1.3 Other issues
Pensions in the statutory social security systems are calculated both on the duration of
contribution periods and on the contribution amounts accumulated during a person’s
working life. Lower wages therefore result in lower old-age pensions. The gender pension
gap in Austria is consistently wide (about 44 % overall).39 Existing measures in favour of
women, above all the granting of pension benefits for care periods, have not resulted in
more convergence of pension levels b etween men and women. Due to the different pay
schemes and calculation factors for pensions in the public sector, the gender pay gap and
the gender pensions gap are less of a problem for civil servants than for employees in the
private sector and for self-employed persons.
4.1.4 Political and societal debate and pending legislative proposals
The current Government has shown no political or policy priorities concerning the gender
pay gap or the tackling of equal treatment deficits in the workplace.
33 For a summary, see: Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour (March 2019), Gender pay gap in Austria and the
European Union, position paper, https://www.akeuropa.eu/sites/default/files/2019-
37 Statistik Österreich,
38 https://www.equal-pay-day.at/.
39 For example, https://www.akeuropa.eu/gender-pension-gap-unequal-wage-does-not-spare-pensions-

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