“Germany cannot afford to continue to pay women less in the 21st century,” says the anti-discrimination officer and calls for existing injustices to be eliminated.
The Federal Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Ferda Ataman, lamented the wage inequality between women and men in Germany on the occasion of Equal Pay Day this Tuesday. She calls for a reform of the Pay Transparency Act. “Although we have a pay transparency law, it is still difficult for many women to specifically prove pay inequality,” Ataman told the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland”.
“The right to information in the Pay Transparency Act only applies to larger companies with 200 or more employees – and there are too many loopholes.” So it doesn’t make sense why women in a small company have no right to receive information about possible wage inequalities, but in larger companies they do. With the “further development” of the law announced in the coalition agreement, care must be taken to ensure that the law will apply to all companies in the future. “That needs to be improved,” Ataman said.
18 percent less per hour
The right to sue for associations mentioned in the coalition agreement is also overdue. “I don’t understand the resistance to such a right to sue,” said Ataman. “A class action right would also make sense in other cases of discrimination and belongs in the General Equal Treatment Act.” More legal action could create more legal certainty for those affected – and sanction employers who did not comply with the law.
“Unequal pay is discrimination by law,” Ataman emphasized. “Germany cannot afford to continue to pay women less in the 21st century. Despite progress in wage transparency in recent years, politicians must continue to take countermeasures.”
According to the Federal Statistical Office, women in Germany earned an average of 18 percent less per hour in 2022 than men. The earnings gap will be the focus of this Tuesday’s Equal Pay Day campaign.