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Stefan Cross Centre for Women, Equality and LawNews, Events and Seminars

The Gender Pay Gap in France and Spain

Published: 16 October 2019

On 16 October 2019 we were joined by Stefan Cross to hear from Professor María Amparo Ballester Pastor (Universidad de Valencia) and Professor Alexia Gardin (Universite de Lorraine) on “The Gender Pay Gap in France and Spain”. 


María Amparo Ballester Pastor
Professor in Employment Law and Social Security, Universitat de València, Spain.

The issue of pay discrimination between women and men in Spain is conditioned by several factors: first, the Spanish legislation on equality between men and women has a formally correct formulation, but its effectiveness for the achievement of real and effective equality is scarce. Second, the precariousness that characterizes labour relations in Spain affects mainly women. Their situation of vulnerability diminishes their claiming capacity. In fact, the volume of legal proceedings to pay discrimination between women and men in Spain is very low. Third, there is a high ignorance about the real problem of compensation discrimination (segregation, incorrect assessment of jobs ...),  

 which leads to banality and even to deny its existence. In recent months, however, some important events have taken place: on the one hand, two bills have been presented in the Congress of Deputies for equal pay between women and men, which did not prosper due to the dissolution of the Congress; On the other hand, in January 2019, a new law for equality between men and women was approved, which contained interesting measures for effective retributive equality. All this shows a new and quite active normative context. However, this new scenario is neither the end of the road nor is it exempt from criticism. All this will be reported in the paper.

Alexia Gardin
Professor at the University of Lorrain, Faculty of Law, Economy and Administration, France.

In France, it has been a long time since women are well integrated in the labour market. Today, women have the same level of education as men. Still, gender inequalities remain. To address the various challenges, the French parliament passed several laws aimed at reducing legal and practical inequalities. Law of 5 September 2018 (the last of a long series of pieces of legislation) intends to put an end to unjustified salary gaps. Beyond the variety of legal provisions which won’t be exposed as such, the goal of the presentation is to underline their main features. Three approaches will be investigated: the concepts used by the legislator (equality of treatment, non-discrimination, equal opportunity); the means of action (gender gaps assessment methods, dissemination of information on gender gaps, collective bargaining, remedies); the stakeholders, with a particular focus on social partners and companies since they have been transferred powers in the field of combating gender inequalities.

Professor María Amparo Ballester Pastor
Professor Alexia Gardin
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