Germany: New Gender Pay Parity Legislation Proposed

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Oct. 13—Individual employees in companies with more than 200 workers would be entitled to information about how their wages compare to their colleagues', under proposed legislation agreed to by Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition committee Oct. 6, the Family Ministry announced the following day. This would include about 14 million employees.

In companies covered by collective bargaining agreements, staff associations would be in charge of this right to information. Where there is no staff association or workers' council and no collective bargaining agreement, employees would be allowed to request the information directly from their employers.

The legislation is aimed at encouraging better pay equity between men and women and addressing the current 21 percent pay gap, the ministry said.

The Family Ministry also called for the introduction of a voluntary test procedure for companies with at least 500 employees to measure pay inequity at five-year intervals. In the future, corporations with more than 500 employees will be required to regularly report on equality measures and pay equity, the ministry said.

“The law for more gender pay parity will come,” Family Minister Manuela Schwesig said Oct. 7. “I'm happy about this breakthrough. In Germany, there has been no law so far that makes clear that an equivalent wage must be paid for equivalent work.”

The new legislation is likely to be passed on to the German Cabinet in December and should get parliamentary approval in summer 2017, the Family Ministry said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Barbara Schuessler in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at

For More Information

For more information on German HR law and regulation, see the Germany primer.

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