Question of the week: What changes with the equal pay law?

Women earning less than Men according to Federal Statistical Office

Women earning less than Men according to Federal Statistical Office

 According to calculations by the Federal Statistical Office, women currently earn an average of just under € 4.50 per hour less than their male counterparts. The reasons for this are complex and the differences often incomprehensible to many employees. However, the law on the promotion of transparency of pay structures , which will enter into force on 6 January 2018, should pave the way for gender justice in future.




Right to information only applies to companies with more than 200 employees

Right to information only applies to companies with more than 200 employees


 What does my colleague deserve? Will my work be fairly remunerated? Many female employees have certainly asked themselves these questions before. With the Equal Pay Act, employees of companies with more than 200 employees now have the right to inquire with their boss about the salary of their colleagues .

The employer is obliged to draw up a written wage comparison . This involves a group of comparable colleagues from the respective work area. The statement should show the average gross income per year and explain it on the basis of certain points, such as qualifications or performance. In addition, the employee has the right to receive information about service cars and annual bonuses of colleagues .

When does the right to information exclude paycheck?

When does the right to information exclude paycheck?

The right to the right to information is not always guaranteed. Due to data protection reasons, employees must refrain from paying wages if less than six people fall into a similar area of ​​work or salary range . This should take into account that in retrospect no conclusions can be drawn to individual persons.

Demand wage comparison: works council is first point of contact

If employees want to know what their colleagues earn on average, the works council is the point of contact for the salary comparison. Necessary for this is a written message , which will be sent directly to the responsible person. In companies without a works council, the employer himself is ready to answer.

The responsible person then has three months to process and prepare the salary comparison, before he has to report back to the employee with a written decision.

What happens with wage differences?

If the boss pays one employee less than others and can not substantiate that, that does not necessarily mean the big salary increase . Unfortunately, the next, often unpleasant step and the question of the appropriate compensation or a salary increase are in the hands of the person concerned.

But what if the boss refuses to adjust the salary? In the future, in the case of a legal dispute, wage comparison will make it easier to get a positive result in favor of the employee.

60 percent of women excluded from the new equal pay law

Despite many positive votes, the new law is in the criticism. Sabine Zimmermann, Deputy Leader of the Left Group, criticizes it as a pure “alibi policy”, while other critics speak of actionism. One reason for the headwind is the fact that only companies with more than 200 employees are addressed. This still excludes around 60 percent of all women in Germany from the right to information.

Ulle Schauws of the Greens sees the initiative for more wage transparency and salary comparison as a “first step” to gender justice . Nevertheless, she hopes that the entitlement to information about the salary will in future apply to all women in employment. In which direction the law develops, it will show from the 6th of January.

Tip: In order to avoid possible costs in disputes with the employer, the labor law protection of a legal expenses insurance offers the necessary support.


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