6 April 2022

Pay transparency vote in plenary: lack of pragmatism in the Parliament

The European Parliament has adopted the EMPL & FEMM report as a basis for the trilogue negotiations. While Ceemet strongly supports the principle
of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, the employers’ organisation for the MET-industries is convinced that the EP report does not address the root causes of the pay gap.

Against the clear recommendation of European employers’ organisations, MEPs have passed the report on pay transparency as voted in the EMPL & FEMM committees during a plenary vote.
The report, which is now the Parliament’s position to start the trilogue negotiations with Commission and Council, turns a blind eye to the unjustified financial and administrative impact the proposed Directive will have on companies.

After seeing the amendments which were tabled, Ceemet had high hopes that the final report of the European Parliament would take a pragmatic approach which would be workable in practice for companies. Ceemet was, and still is, especially strongly in favour of the amendments proposing to include the presumption of adequacy in the scope of the Directive and the amendments regarding the exemption for companies with less than 250 employees.
Unfortunately, the report which is now adopted by the plenary does not include any of these amendments. The final report is not taking the balanced approach expected and it does not reflect the entire political spectrum. This EP report shows a lack of pragmatism and will result in a significant amount of financial and administrative burden on companies, notably SMEs.

However, there is still hope. With a view on the trilogue negotiations, Ceemet urges the negotiators to agree on a text for the final Directive that is sensible and applicable in practice for companies. Only including companies with at least 250 workers in the scope of the Directive, as proposed by both the Commission as well as the Council, would be a good starting point and a minimum for the MET sector.