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)

AuthorVegter, Marlies
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 difficulti es of realising to equal pay
Three reports have been published by the NIHR on pay differences within general
hospitals, uni versities of applied sciences and insurance companies. The NIHR analysed
the pay of men and women within these institutions and concluded that there were
considerable gaps to the disadvantage of women. According to the NIHR, these gaps were
to a large extent due to factors such as attaching insufficient weight to previous work
experience, determining the salary on the last salary earned elsewhere, basing the salary
on negotiations, granting extra benefits because an employee had r eached the maximum
of his/her scale, or granting a higher salary because of shortage in the l abour market.55
The NIHR observed that the job evaluation system was not in itself the problem, but rather
deviations from the system to the disadvantage of women. In order to prevent these
deviations, the NIHR recommends inter alia:
- creating awareness among employers and especially among managers of which
standards for pay are neutral and which are not, thus teach ing them to be careful
with standards such as ‘the last earned sal ary, giving guarantees because a person
is at the maximum of the scale and labour market supplement s;
- monitoring and analysing pay structures and their effects within the company;
- when grading a person into a specific salary scal e, making clear and noting down in
the personnel file which standards were applied;
- being careful with basing the salary on negotiati ons or on the last salary earned
- when grading an employee on a salary scale, doing this on the basis of his/her work
experience and not placing an employee on a lower scale so as t o create prospects
for growth; if there is reason for awarding a benefit, adding this to the salary in the
form of a supplement and not placing the employee on a hig her salary scale;
- being aware of not creating pay differences in the process of a merger or
reorganisation, e.g. through giving guarantees;
- explaining specific agreements about pay in employees’ personnel files and
mentioning the reasons for making such agreement s.
Research into pay differences between men and women is also carried out on a regular
basis by the Central Bureau for Statisti cs (CBS). The last report of the CBS dates from
November 2018 an d describes the situation in 2016 and th e developments i n relation to
the previous years (2008-2016).56 The CBS found that pay differences have dimi nished
over this period, but that there is a considerable difference between the public and the
private sector. The g ender pa y gap was 16 % in the public se ctor in 2008 and 8 % in
2016. In th e private sector the gender pay gap was 22 % in 2008 and 19 % in 2016. If
these gaps are corrected for factors such as number of hours worked, education, etc.,
differences of 5 % in the public sector and 7 % in the private sector remain.
55 Commissie Gelijke Behandeling (2011), Gelijke beloning van mannen en vrouwen bij de algemene
ziekenhuizen in Nederland (Equal pay for men and women in general hospitals in the Netherlands), Utrecht,
2011, available at https://www.mensenrechten.nl/nl/publicatie/9898; College voor de Rechten van de
Mens, Verdient een man meer? Gelijke beloning van mannen en vrouwen bij hogescholen (Does a man earn
more? Equal pay for men and women within universities of applied sciences), Utrecht, 2016, available at
https://www.mensenrechten.nl/nl/publicatie/36318; College voor de Rechten van de Mens, Rapport Gelijke
beloning verzekerd? (Report on Equal Pay Insured?), Utrecht, 2017, available at
56 Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (2018), Monitor loonverschillen mannen en vrouwen, 2016 (Monitor
Equal pay differences between men and women, 2016), November 2018, available at:

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