Europe - Agreement on pay-transparency measures to expose gender pay gap

On 15 December, a provisional trilogue agreement on binding pay transparency measures has been reached between the European Parliament and negotiators from the EU Member States. Parliament and Council will still have to formally approve the agreement. The new rules will come into force twenty days after their publication in the EU Official Journal. According to the agreement, EU companies will be required to disclose information that makes it easier to compare salaries for those working for the same employer and expose the existing gender pay gap. Pay structures to compare pay levels should be based on gender-neutral criteria and include gender-neutral job evaluation and classification systems. Vacancy notices and job titles will have to be gender neutral and recruitment processes led in a non-discriminatory manner. If pay reporting shows a gender pay gap of at least 5%, employers will have to conduct a joint pay assessment in cooperation with their workers’ representatives. Member states will have to put in place effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties, such as fines, for employers that infringe the rules

Bulgaria - First collective agreement in light industry 

The multinational STS Medical Group and the Federation of Light Industry, signed their first collective agreement. The signing took place four days after a protest rally where hundreds of workers demanded adequate pay for their work. This first collective agreement means that the minimum wage for the company will increase to BGN 1,000 (€ 510). Workers will receive an increase in food vouchers from BGN 80 (€ 41) to BGN 200 (€ 102), as well as a Christmas supplement of BGN 60 (€ 31). The agreement also stipulates the participation of the trade union in internal wage negotiations and working conditions. 

Iceland - New agreement between union and employers’ federation 

A new short-term agreement has been reached between the trade union SGS and SA, the Federation of Icelandic Employers. The agreement was reached between 17 of SGS’s member organisations and SA. Rising interest rates have complicated wage negotiations between many trade unions and SA, with short-term contracts seen as a compromise to cope with the immediate impact of inflation and interest rates, without locking unions and employers into longer-term contracts that may not be suited to economic conditions in the traditional three-year period. The agreement will be valid from November 2022 until the end of January 2024. It includes a flat minimum raise, as well as more holidays and adjustments for inflation. 

Portugal - Wage rise in supermarket chain  

Supermarket chain Mercadona approved wage increases for its entire workforce in Spain and Portugal, saying they would be in line with the official rate of inflation recorded in December. The measure will enter into force starting from the January payslips of the more than 96,000 employees in Spain and Portugal, matching December’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) of each country. The hike will not only affect workers’ base salaries, as stipulated in its collective agreement, but also their total wages including bonuses. 

Switzerland - Pay rise for call centres 

Following successful wage negotiations between the collective bargaining parties, wages for employees in the call and contact centre industry will be increased in the coming year. The minimum wages in the collective agreement will be increased by 1.5 or 3%, depending on the wage scale and taking into account the latest wage structure survey by the Federal Statistical Office. The new minimum wages will come into force as soon as they are declared generally binding by the Federal Council. The collective agreement for the contact and call centre industry has been generally binding for the approximately 4,400 employees in this segment since 2018. 


Find out more in the December issue

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