“A bit less than a month before the publication of the Professional Equality Index 2021 for all companies with 50 or more employees,” the Ministry of Labour recalled in a press release of 3 February. “All companies with 50 or more employees must calculate and publish their Professional Equality Index by 1 March 2021 at the latest. They must also send their overall score and indicators to the Labour Administration and to their Works Council, (the Social and economic committee- CSE).”
Employers have the obligation to publish each year indicators relating to the differences in remuneration between women and men and the concrete actions taken to eliminate these.
The application of the following indicators gives the company a score out of 100 points:
- Gender gap in basic and variable pay / 40 points
- Gender gap in distribution of personal pay raises / 20 points
- Gender gap in distribution of promotions / 15 points
- Percentage of female employees given a pay raise on returning from maternity leave / 15 points
- Number of women and men in the top 10 highest paid employees / 10 points
The transparency obligation imposes that companies concerned by the index publish their score and results each year on the company’s website and the economic and social database.
Corrective measures must be taken if the score is below 75 points. The negotiation on professional equality will cover the appropriate and relevant measures of correction (wage catch-up plan), but in the absence of an agreement providing for such measures, the employer is required to take unilateral corrective measures.
Audits are possible by the Labor inspectorate and they can result in sanction for companies that have not complied with these new obligations.
Indeed, after a 3-year period, companies that have not closed their pay gap may be subject to a financial penalty amounting to a maximum of 1% of the total payroll.
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