Published and draft legislation - Germany

Gender wage equality

Wage transparency bill

After much debate, the German Cabinet has agreed to submit to parliament a draft bill to drive wage equality between men and women by transparently disclosing management information.

The bill’s preamble states that in Germany women earn, on average, 21% less than men. The gap can be explained by structural and sociological factors, such as the types of job they do, their disproportionately low presence in senior management positions, leaves of absence from work to look after children, etc.

The draft estimates that independently of these factors the wage gap between men and women is 7% for the same job position.

The regulation contains a mechanism to ensure that women can be informed of the average wage of at least six men who occupy the same positions as they do in the company. The requirement to provide this information will apply to all companies with more than 200 employees. Furthermore, those with more than 500 employees will be obliged to analyse their wage structure regularly, to check whether the same job pays the same wage and to report on gender and wage equality in their Management Report.

Germany, like other countries in the European Union, is trying to bring about a reduction in the wage gap with this proposed legislation.