EU 2023 970 Insights

1. Summarize the rules that the directive introduces. 

EU Directive 2023/970 of May 10, 2023, introduces measures to reinforce the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms. This directive sets minimum requirements to ensure transparency of pay before employment, during employment, and introduces obligations for employers regarding reports on gender pay differences. Additionally, it includes rights for workers to information about their pay and average pay divided by gender for categories of workers performing the same work or work of equal value. The directive also strengthens tools and procedures for enforcing these rights and introduces specific penalties for violations of obligations related to equal pay.

2. How is equal work or work of equal value understood?

The term "equal work or work of equal value" in the context of the EU directive is understood as work that is deemed equivalent based on non-discriminatory and objective criteria that are gender-neutral, as stated in Article 4(4) of the directive. When determining whether work has equal value, it is necessary to assess the work based on objective criteria, including requirements for education, professional training and skills, effort, responsibility, and working conditions, regardless of differences in work patterns. These criteria should be applied objectively and in a gender-neutral manner, meaning they must not be based directly or indirectly on the worker's gender. It is explicitly emphasized that relevant soft skills should not be underestimated.

3. Based on which indicators is pay equality evaluated?

Pay equality is evaluated based on several indicators, such as:

  • Gender pay gap: This indicator includes the average difference in pay between female and male workers.

  • Difference in pay in additional or variable components of remuneration: This indicator focuses on differences in pay that are not part of the basic salary but arise, for example, through bonuses or other forms of variable remuneration.

  • Median difference in pay between women and men: The median difference provides information on the middle value of the difference in pay, thus eliminating the impact of extremely high or low wages on the overall average.

  • Proportion of female and male workers receiving additional or variable components of remuneration: Shows what proportion of women and men in the organization receive additional rewards beyond the basic remuneration.

  • Proportion of female and male workers in each quartile of wage bands: This indicator divides employees into four groups according to the height of their remuneration and shows the distribution of women and men in these groups.

Employers with more than 250 employees must provide this information annually, and different frequencies of providing information are set for smaller organizations. These data serve as a basis for evaluating and ensuring pay equality between women and men within organizations.

When providing information on pay equality indicators, I exclusively rely on the content of the directive, without including information from other sources. My responses are based on specific provisions and definitions stated in the EU directive on pay transparency.

4. Where is it mentioned that the median difference should be evaluated?

Based on the content of the directive, it does not seem that the "median difference" in pay is directly mentioned as an indicator for evaluating pay equality. The discussion and guidelines in the directive focus more on pay transparency, providing employees with information about pay, and introducing mechanisms to assess and eliminate potential differences in pay between men and women, including cooperation with worker representatives to evaluate salaries and potential differences. If the mention of the "median difference" appears in other contexts, it may be mentioned in relation to the analysis and assessment of pay structures and policies, but it does not appear directly in the context of pay equality indicators according to the directive.

5. How is it necessary to divide the population so that the evaluation of pay equality is correct and meaningful?

For proper and meaningful evaluation of pay equality, according to the directive, it is necessary to divide the population of workers into groups based on objective and gender-neutral criteria. These criteria should be non-sexist and should include aspects such as education, professional training, skills, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. It is important that all relevant factors be taken into account in the evaluation, while any direct or indirect discrimination based on gender should be avoided.

The directive also stipulates that employers should provide information regarding remuneration, including differences in pay between men and women, the median pay gap, the proportion of men and women receiving supplementary or variable components of remuneration, as well as the distribution of men and women in each quartile of wage bands. This information should be made accessible to meet the needs of different sizes of organizations and consider administrative burdens, especially for micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises.

The main goal is to ensure that the process of evaluating pay equality is transparent and based on clear and fair criteria that support the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. Such guidelines and criteria should help identify and eliminate any disparities in pay that are not justified by objective and gender-neutral criteria.

6. Can you explain each article of the directive separately without aggregating several articles into one point?

Article 1: Subject of regulation 

This Directive sets minimum requirements to strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women, as enshrined in Article 157 of the TFEU, and the prohibition of discrimination laid down in particular in Article 4 of Directive 2006/54/EC through pay transparency and strengthened enforcement mechanisms​​. 

Article 2: Scope 

The Directive applies to employers in both the public and private sectors and to all workers who have an employment or employment relationship as defined by law, collective agreements and/or practice in force in each Member State, taking into account the case law of the Court of Justice. This directive also applies to job seekers in connection with Article 5​​. 

Article 3: Definitions 

Defines key terms necessary for the purposes of this Directive, including definitions of "remuneration", "levels of remuneration", "gender pay gap", "median level of remuneration", "median gender pay gap", "quartile range of remuneration", " work of equal value", "categories of workers", "direct discrimination", "indirect discrimination", "labor inspection" and "equality body".​​

Article 4: Equal work and work of equal value 

Member States must take measures to ensure that employers have pay structures guaranteeing equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. They should also, in cooperation with equality bodies, ensure the availability and accessibility of analytical tools or methodologies to support and guide the assessment and comparison of the value of work. Pay structures must allow for an assessment of whether workers are in a comparable situation in terms of the value of work based on objective criteria independent of gender, including skills, effort, responsibility and working conditions. 

Article 5: Transparency of compensation before employment 

Job seekers have the right to obtain information from the potential employer about the starting salary or its range and about the relevant provisions of the collective agreement. The employer may not request information about the salary history of applicants. 

Article 6: Transparency of wage setting and progression 

Employers must make available to their workers the criteria used to determine wages, wage levels and wage progression. These criteria must be objective and gender neutral. 

Article 7: Right to information 

Workers have the right to request and receive written information about their individual wage level and average wage levels broken down by gender for categories of workers performing the same work or work of equal value. 

Article 8: Accessibility of information 

Employers must provide information shared with workers or job applicants in an accessible format for people with disabilities. 

Article 9: Reports on the pay gap between women and men 

Member States shall ensure that employers provide information about their organisation, including the gender pay gap, the median gender pay gap, the proportion of women and men receiving additional or variable pay components and the proportion of women and men in each quartile of pay. 

Article 10: Joint wage assessment 

Member States shall take measures to ensure that employers subject to the obligation to report on wages under Article 9 carry out a joint wage assessment in cooperation with their workers' representatives if the difference in the average wage level between women and men is at least 5% in any category of workers and this difference was not objectively justified. 

Article 11: Support for employers with less than 250 workers 

Member States shall provide technical assistance and training to employers with fewer than 250 workers and their workers' representatives to facilitate compliance with the obligations set out in this Directive. 

Article 12: Data protection 

Any information provided in accordance with the measures taken pursuant to Articles 7, 9 and 10 that involve the processing of personal data must be provided in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679. 

Article 13: Social dialogue 

Member States shall ensure the effective involvement of the social partners by discussing the rights and obligations set out in this Directive, taking into account the autonomy of the social partners and in accordance with national law and practice. 

Article 14: Defense of rights 

Member States shall ensure that legal proceedings to enforce rights and obligations related to the principle of equal pay are available to all workers who are considered to have been harmed by the non-application of the principle of equal pay, even after the termination of the employment relationship in which the alleged discrimination took place.

Article 15: Proceedings on behalf of or in support of workers 

Member States shall ensure that associations, organisations, equality bodies and workers' representatives or other legal entities which, according to the criteria laid down by national law, have a legitimate interest in ensuring equality between men and women may intervene in any administrative procedure or judicial proceedings concerning an alleged violation rights or obligations related to the principle of equal pay. They could act on behalf of or in support of a worker who is an alleged victim of such a violation, with their consent. 

Article 16: Right to compensation 

Member States shall ensure that any worker who has suffered damage as a result of a breach of any right or obligation related to the principle of equal pay has the right to claim and obtain full compensation or reparation for that damage as determined by the Member State. Compensation or reparation must represent real and effective compensation for the loss and damage suffered in a deterrent and proportionate manner. 

Article 17: Additional Remedies 

Member States shall ensure that, in the event of a violation of rights or obligations related to the principle of equal pay, competent authorities or national courts may, at the request of the claimant and at the expense of the defendant, issue orders to stop the violation or orders to take measures ensuring the application of rights or obligations related to the principle of equal pay. 

Article 18: Shifting the burden of proof 

Member States shall take appropriate measures, in accordance with their national judicial systems, to ensure that, when workers who are considered to have been injured because the principle of equal pay has not been applied to them, present before a competent authority or a national court facts from which it can be assumed that there has been direct or indirect discrimination, it will be up to the defendant to prove that there has been no direct or indirect discrimination in relation to remuneration. 

Article 19: Proof of equal work or work of equal value 

When assessing whether women and men perform the same work or work of equal value, the assessment of whether workers are in a comparable situation will not be limited to situations where women and men work for the same employer, but will be extended to a single source setting pay conditions. The assessment will not be limited to workers employed at the same time as the affected worker. 

Article 20: Access to evidence 

Member States shall ensure that the competent authorities or national courts may order the defendant to disclose any relevant evidence in his possession, in accordance with national law and practice. 

Article 21: Limitation periods 

Member States shall ensure that the national rules applicable to limitation periods for the exercise of claims to equal pay determine when such periods start to run, their duration and the circumstances under which they may be suspended or interrupted. Limitation periods may not begin to run before the claimant becomes aware of, or may reasonably expect to become aware of, the breach. Member States may decide that the limitation periods do not start to run while the infringement continues or before the employment or employment relationship is terminated. Such limitation periods may not be shorter than three years. 

Article 22: Legal costs 

Member States shall ensure that, where a defendant is successful in proceedings relating to a claim of pay discrimination, national courts may assess whether the claimant had reasonable grounds for bringing the claim and, if so, whether it is appropriate not to require that claimant to pay the costs of the proceedings. 

Article 23: Sanctions 

Member States shall lay down rules on effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions applicable to infringements of rights and obligations related to the principle of equal pay. They will ensure that these sanctions guarantee a real deterrent effect against violations of rights and obligations related to the principle of equal pay. 

Article 24: Equal remuneration in public contracts and concessions 

The measures that Member States adopt in accordance with the relevant articles of the public procurement directives must include measures to ensure compliance with the principle of equal remuneration in the performance of public contracts or concessions by economic entities. 

Article 25: Victimization and protection against less favorable treatment 

Workers and their representatives must not be treated less favorably for exercising their equal pay rights or for supporting another person in protecting their rights. Member States shall introduce into their national legal systems such measures as are necessary to protect workers, including workers who are workers' representatives, against dismissal or other adverse treatment by an employer in response to a complaint within the employer's organization or to any administrative procedure or judicial proceeding for the purpose of enforcing any rights or obligations related to the principle of equal pay. 

Article 26: Relation to Directive 2006/54/EC 

Chapter III of this Directive applies to proceedings relating to any right or obligation related to the principle of equal pay set out in Article 4 of Directive 2006/54/EC. 

Article 27: Level of protection 

Member States may introduce or maintain provisions that are more favorable to workers than those laid down in this Directive. Under no circumstances should the implementation of this Directive serve as a reason to reduce the level of protection in the areas covered by this Directive. 

Article 28: Bodies for equality 

Without prejudice to the powers of labor inspectorates or other bodies enforcing workers' rights, including the social partners, equality bodies shall have competences in relation to matters falling within the scope of this Directive. Member States shall ensure close cooperation and coordination between labor inspectorates, equality bodies and, where applicable, social partners with regard to the principle of equal pay. 

Article 29: Monitoring and raising awareness 

Member States shall ensure consistent and coordinated monitoring and support of the application of the principle of equal pay and the enforcement of all available remedies. Each Member State shall designate an authority for monitoring and supporting the implementation of national measures implementing this Directive and shall ensure its proper functioning. The tasks of the monitoring body include raising awareness, analyzing the causes of the gender pay gap, collecting data from employers and publishing this data in an accessible and user-friendly form. 

Article 30: Collective Bargaining and Action 

This Directive does not affect the right to negotiate, conclude and enforce collective agreements or to take collective action in accordance with national law or practice. 

Article 31: Statistics 

Member States shall provide the Commission (Eurostat) on an annual basis with current national data for the calculation of the gender pay gap in an unadjusted form. These statistics will be disaggregated by gender, economic sector, working hours (full-time/part-time), economic management (public/private ownership) and age, and will be calculated on an annual basis.

Article 32: Dissemination of information 

Member States shall take active measures to ensure that the provisions they adopt in accordance with this Directive, together with the relevant provisions already in force, are made available to all relevant persons in their territory by all appropriate means. 

Article 33: Implementation 

Member States may entrust the social partners with the implementation of this Directive in accordance with national law and/or practice with regard to the role of the social partners, provided that Member States take all necessary steps to ensure that the results sought by this Directive are guaranteed at all times. 

Article 34: Transposition 

Member States must introduce into their national law the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to meet the requirements of this Directive by 7 June 2026. 

Article 35: Report and review 

By June 7, 2031, Member States must inform the Commission about the implementation of this directive and its impact in practice. 

By June 7, 2033, the Commission must submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of this directive. 

Article 36: Entry into force 

This Directive shall enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. 

Article 37: Addressees 

This directive is addressed to the Member States. These articles provide a comprehensive framework for strengthening pay transparency and ensuring equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women, including awareness-raising, monitoring and enforcement measures.

7. Is there some specific catalog or list that defines categories of equal work or work of equal value?

The Directive (EU) 2023/970 on strengthening the application of the principle of equal pay does not provide a specific catalog or list that defines categories of equal work or work of equal value. Instead, it sets out the principles and criteria for determining what constitutes equal work or work of equal value. It emphasizes the need for assessments and comparisons to be made based on objective, gender-neutral criteria such as skill levels, effort, responsibility, and working conditions.

The directive requires Member States to ensure that employers have pay structures in place that allow for the assessment of whether workers are performing equal work or work of equal value, based on these objective criteria. This approach recognizes the diversity and complexity of job roles across different sectors and industries, making it impractical to have a one-size-fits-all catalog.

Furthermore, the directive encourages the use of analytical tools, methodologies, and possibly gender-neutral job evaluation and classification systems to support the assessment and comparison process. These tools and systems are intended to help employers and social partners establish fair and transparent pay structures that can be easily assessed for compliance with the equal pay principle.

In summary, rather than providing a catalog of equal works, the directive lays down a framework and criteria for evaluating and comparing different jobs to determine equal value in a fair and objective manner. It places the responsibility on Member States and employers to implement these principles in a way that suits their specific contexts and labor markets.

8. Is each employer responsible for defining categories of work and determining whether different jobs are considered equal work or work of equal value?

Yes, within the framework established by Directive (EU) 2023/970, each employer is responsible for defining categories of work and determining whether different jobs are considered equal work or work of equal value, based on objective, gender-neutral criteria. This approach allows for flexibility and adaptability to the wide variety of job roles, industries, and organizational structures that exist across the EU.

Employers are encouraged to use analytical tools and methodologies to support this assessment, ensuring that the comparison of jobs is conducted fairly and transparently. These tools should help identify and compare the value of work by evaluating factors such as the skills required, the effort involved, the level of responsibility, and the working conditions of the roles in question.

While employers have the autonomy to define categories of equal work or work of equal value within their organizations, the directive requires that these definitions and the processes used to determine them be transparent and based on objective criteria. This is intended to eliminate gender bias and ensure that pay disparities are not based on sex but on legitimate factors related to the job itself.

Furthermore, the directive allows for the involvement of workers' representatives in the assessment process, ensuring that the criteria and outcomes are fair and mutually agreed upon. This collaborative approach, combined with the directive's emphasis on transparency and objectivity, aims to facilitate the identification and correction of unjustified pay gaps between men and women performing equal work or work of equal value.

9. What analytical tools and methodologies should then be used?

The Directive (EU) 2023/970 on strengthening the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms encourages the use of analytical tools and methodologies to support the assessment and comparison of the value of work. However, it does not specify particular tools or software. Instead, it emphasizes the need for gender-neutral job evaluation and classification systems as the primary means to objectively assess work and its value.

These tools and methodologies are designed to help employers evaluate jobs in a systematic and unbiased manner, focusing on factors such as:

  • Skills: The knowledge and abilities required to perform the job.
  • Effort: The physical or mental exertion needed for the job.
  • Responsibility: The level of accountability and decision-making required.
  • Working Conditions: The physical environment and other external factors affecting the work situation.

By applying these criteria, employers can establish a fair and transparent pay structure that enables the comparison of different jobs within the same organization to determine if they are of equal value, thus supporting compliance with the principle of equal pay.

In practical terms, these tools can range from simple checklists or spreadsheets that allow employers to rate jobs against these criteria, to more sophisticated job evaluation software that automates much of the process. The choice of tool depends on the size of the organization, the complexity of its job structures, and available resources.

Moreover, the directive suggests that Member States, in consultation with equality bodies, provide support in the form of technical assistance and training to facilitate the implementation of these analytical tools and methodologies, especially for smaller employers who might lack the resources to develop them independently.

In summary, the "tools" referred to are methodologies and systems designed to objectively assess and compare the value of work within organizations, ensuring that pay differences are based on objective criteria rather than gender, thereby supporting the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value.

10. Can we outline a conceptual approach that organizations can consider when developing or choosing tools to facilitate this assessment?

While the Directive (EU) 2023/970 doesn't specify particular tools or software for assessing equal work or work of equal value, we can outline a conceptual approach that organizations can consider when developing or choosing tools to facilitate this assessment. Remember, the effectiveness of any tool will depend on how well it aligns with the organization's specific needs, the complexity of its job roles, and its commitment to gender neutrality and objectivity in job evaluation. Here's an approach based on the criteria mentioned in the directive:

1. Development of a Comprehensive Job Evaluation System

  • Framework Creation: Start by creating a framework that includes the criteria outlined in the directive: skills, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. This framework should allow for the addition of job-specific criteria as necessary.
  • Rating Scale Development: For each criterion, develop a rating scale that allows for objective measurement. For example, skills could be rated based on the level of education required, certifications, or years of experience.

2. Implementation of a Job Evaluation Tool

  • Spreadsheet-Based Tools: For smaller organizations, a well-organized spreadsheet might be sufficient. Each job role can be evaluated against the criteria using the established rating scales. The spreadsheet can calculate a total score for each role, facilitating comparisons.
  • Software Solutions: Larger organizations might benefit from specialized job evaluation software. These programs can offer more sophisticated analysis, data management, and reporting capabilities. They can also include features for maintaining documentation and justifications for ratings, which is essential for transparency and compliance.

3. Training and Guidelines

  • Training Programs: Ensure that those responsible for conducting job evaluations are trained not only in how to use the tool but also in understanding the importance of objectivity and avoiding gender bias.
  • Guidelines: Develop comprehensive guidelines that outline the job evaluation process, including how to handle discrepancies, appeals, or updates to job roles.

4. Regular Reviews and Updates

  • Scheduled Reviews: Establish a regular schedule for reviewing and updating job evaluations to ensure they reflect current job responsibilities and market conditions.
  • Feedback Mechanism: Implement a feedback mechanism that allows employees to raise concerns about job evaluations, ensuring that the process remains fair and transparent.

5. Consultation and Participation

  • Involvement of Workers' Representatives: Involve workers' representatives in the development and implementation of the job evaluation tool to ensure buy-in and fairness.
  • External Expertise: Consider consulting with external experts or equality bodies during the development phase to ensure the tool meets legal standards and best practices.

It's important to note that while tools and systems can greatly aid in the objective evaluation of jobs, the commitment of the organization to a fair and transparent process is equally crucial. No tool can completely eliminate bias on its own; it must be part of a broader commitment to equality and fairness in the workplace.

11. Is there any existing tool available online and free?

Finding free, comprehensive, and publicly available tools online for conducting job evaluations and ensuring equal pay for work of equal value can be challenging, especially ones that are designed to meet the specific criteria outlined in EU directives or legislation. However, there are resources and basic tools that organizations can adapt and use as starting points for their job evaluation processes. While these might not be fully fledged software solutions, they provide foundational frameworks that can be customized according to an organization's needs.

Basic Tools and Resources:

  1. Government and NGO Resources: Some government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on labor rights, gender equality, and fair employment practices offer guidelines, checklists, and basic toolkits. These can serve as excellent starting points for developing a job evaluation system that aligns with the principles of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. Checking websites of equality bodies or labor departments in your country or region could yield useful resources.

  2. Academic Publications and Research: Universities and research institutions often publish studies, reports, and toolkits on gender equality and job evaluation. These resources can provide valuable insights and methodologies that can be adapted for use in different organizational contexts.

  3. HR and Business Ethics Portals: Websites dedicated to human resources management and business ethics sometimes offer free resources, templates, or guides on establishing fair pay practices and conducting job evaluations.

Adaptation and Use:

  • Spreadsheets: Basic spreadsheet software that most organizations already have can be adapted to create custom job evaluation tools. By defining your criteria based on the job evaluation principles (skills, effort, responsibility, working conditions), you can develop a scoring system to compare roles within your organization.

  • Survey and Form Builders: Free online survey and form tools can be adapted for gathering information about job roles directly from employees. This can be a part of a broader job evaluation process, ensuring that job descriptions and responsibilities are accurately captured.

Considerations for Using Free Tools:

  • Customization: Free tools and resources will likely require customization to fit the specific context, roles, and organizational structure of your company.

  • Compliance and Accuracy: Ensure that any tool or methodology you adopt is capable of providing accurate, unbiased evaluations. It may be necessary to consult with HR professionals or legal experts to ensure compliance with relevant laws and directives.

  • Ongoing Review and Adaptation: Job roles, responsibilities, and organizational needs evolve over time. Any job evaluation tool or methodology should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect these changes and to maintain fairness and accuracy in job evaluations.

While specific, ready-to-use "plug-and-play" tools may not be widely available for free, the resources and approaches mentioned above can serve as valuable starting points for organizations committed to promoting equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. Engaging with professional HR services or software providers might be necessary for more comprehensive solutions tailored to your organization's specific needs.

12. How should a member state proceed during the process of transposition into national legislation?

During the process of transposing a directive into national legislation, member states should follow the steps outlined in Article 34 of the directive:

Introduction of Legislation: Member states must introduce laws, regulations, and administrative measures necessary to comply with the requirements of this directive. This process should be completed by June 7, 2026.

Informing the European Commission: After implementing the necessary measures, member states must promptly inform the Commission about these measures. As part of this notification, member states should also provide the Commission with a summary of the impact assessment results of their transposition measures on workers and employers with fewer than 250 employees, as well as a reference where such assessment is published.

Publication and Referencing: When adopting the measures mentioned in the first paragraph, the content of the measures should be accompanied by a reference to this directive, or such a reference should be provided at their official publication. The methods for making such references should be determined by the member states themselves.

This process ensures that the national legislation of member states is aligned with the principles and requirements set out in the directive, thereby ensuring the uniform application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women across the European Union. Furthermore, by ensuring transparency of the process and providing information to the European Commission, member states contribute to the monitoring and evaluation of the directive's implementation at the EU level.

13. Can you describe the transposition process in detail?

In connection with the process of transposing a directive into national legislation, the document does not address the specific steps or details that member states should undertake. The information contained in the document primarily focuses on the provisions of the directive, its objectives, definitions, employers' obligations, employees' rights, and procedures related to pay transparency, defense of rights, and sanctions for violating the principles of equal pay.

For illustration, the transposition process typically includes the following steps:

Preparatory Phase: National authorities should review the directive, determine areas where existing laws need to be amended or new legislation introduced, and draft proposals for these changes or new regulations. This involves understanding the requirements of the directive, identifying relevant national laws that are already in compliance with the directive, and identifying areas where changes are needed.

Consultations: Member states may conduct consultations with various stakeholders, including social partners, civil society organizations, gender equality experts, and the public, to gather feedback on the proposed changes or new laws.

Legislative Process: After consultations, national authorities will submit the draft laws to the national parliament or another legislative body for approval. Once approved, these changes become part of the national law.

Implementation and Dissemination: After transposing the directive into national legislation, it's important to ensure its effective implementation. This includes disseminating information about the new or amended legal regulations among all stakeholders, including employers, employees, and their representatives.

Monitoring and Review: Member states should monitor the implementation and effects of the new or amended laws and regularly inform the European Commission about the progress and challenges associated with applying the directive.

These steps are not explained in detail in the provided document because the transposition process can be specific to each member state depending on its legal system, traditions, and national legislative process.

14. For the Slovak Republic, what should the preparatory phase entail?

During the preparatory phase of transposing a directive into the legal system of the Slovak Republic, this process could involve several key steps:

Analysis of the Current State: The first step is a thorough analysis of existing laws and regulations in Slovakia related to equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women. This step includes identifying areas where current legislation already meets the directive's requirements and areas where changes or additions are needed.

Comparing Directive Requirements with National Regulations: After analyzing the current state, it's necessary to compare the directive's requirements with existing Slovak laws and regulations to determine where legislative changes or new regulations are needed to comply with the directive.

Drafting Proposals for Amendments or New Regulations: Based on the analysis and comparison, specific proposals for amending existing laws or regulations or creating new legal instruments should be developed to ensure full application of the directive's requirements in the Slovak legal system.

Consultations with Experts and Stakeholders: A crucial step in the preparatory phase is consulting with experts in labor law, gender equality, as well as social partners, employers' organizations, trade unions, civil society organizations, and potentially the public. The goal is to obtain feedback on the proposed changes and ensure that these changes are realistic, executable, and effectively address the directive's goals.

Impact Assessment: Part of the preparatory phase should also include an impact assessment of the proposed legislative changes on employers, employees, the labor market, and the economy as a whole. The aim is to ensure that the proposed changes are not only in compliance with the directive but also contribute to achieving its objectives without undue burden on employers or adverse effects on the economy.

Implementation Plan: Finally, within the preparatory phase, it's important to develop an implementation plan that includes a timeline for transposition, identification of responsible bodies, and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the transposition and implementation process of the directive.

This process requires coordinated efforts among various ministries, state authorities, and stakeholders in Slovakia to ensure that the transposition of the directive is effective and in accordance with all relevant European and national legal frameworks.

15. How would you analyze the situation in the Slovak Republic using the internet, and what specific solution proposal and timeline would you prepare to ensure all directive requirements are met, acting as if you were the competent authority responsible for national-level solution design for the Slovak Republic?

Based on the available information from the websites of the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic and the SLOV-LEX platform, which deal with the legislative process and the transposition of EC/EU directives in Slovakia, I propose the following process and timeline for the effective transposition of the EU directive on equal pay into the Slovak legal system:

Analysis of the Current State and Identification of Needed Changes:

  • Conduct a thorough review of existing Slovak laws and regulations regarding remuneration and gender equality to determine where changes or adjustments are needed.
  • This step should be initiated immediately with the goal of completing the analysis within 3 months.

Development of Amendment Proposals and New Regulations:

  • Based on the identified needs, develop specific proposals for amending existing laws or introducing new regulations.
  • Proposals should be prepared within 6 months from the start of the process.

Consultations with Experts and Stakeholders:

  • Organize public consultations and workshop meetings with social partners, trade unions, employers, non-profit organizations, and gender equality experts.
  • This step should be implemented in parallel with the development of proposals, aiming to start consultations immediately after they are ready.

Impact Assessment and Finalization of Proposals:

  • Conduct an impact assessment of the proposed changes on employers, employees, and the economy.
  • Finalize proposals based on the results of the impact assessment and feedback from consultations.
  • This step should be completed within 9 months from the start of the process.

Legislative Process:

  • Submit the finalized proposals for laws and regulations for approval by the National Council of the Slovak Republic.
  • This process should include discussions in parliament, readings, and voting, with the goal of approving the proposals within 12 months from the start of the process.

Implementation and Monitoring:

  • After the approval of laws and regulations, begin their implementation, education of stakeholders, and monitoring the application of the new rules.
  • The implementation phase should start immediately after the legislative process and continue indefinitely with regular evaluation of the effectiveness of the measures.

This proposed process and timeline should provide a coherent framework for the transposition of the directive on equal pay into Slovak legislation, ensuring sufficient time for analysis, consultations, legislative process, and implementation. It's important to emphasize that successful transposition and implementation require active cooperation between the government, social partners, and civil society, as well as adequate resources for education and monitoring progress.

16. How would you analyze the current situation and identify which areas require changes, creation, or redefinition in the context of the Slovak Republic?

Based on the available information about the current state of pay equality in Slovakia and the necessary measures to improve the situation, it would be appropriate to focus on the following areas during the transposition of the EU directive on equal pay:

Reducing the Gender Pay Gap: The current situation indicates significant differences in pay between men and women, which are among the highest in the EU. It is necessary to identify and address the causes of this difference, such as sectoral and vertical segregation, pay structure, and collective bargaining.

Overcoming Stereotypes and Prejudices: Stereotypical ideas about "work suitable for women" and an androcentric approach in collective bargaining systems have a fundamental impact on gender pay inequality. Creating informational and educational campaigns for employers and the wider public is key.

Supporting Work-Life Balance: Women often hold the majority of unpaid caregiving responsibilities, negatively affecting their job opportunities and pay. It is important to support the availability and affordability of childcare while also providing flexible working options.

Improving Women's Access to Higher Positions: Despite women making up a significant portion of the workforce, their representation in managerial and other higher positions is low. Measures to support women's career growth and ensure transparency in promotion criteria and pay are needed.

Educating and Encouraging Women in Self-Esteem and Negotiation: It is important to educate and encourage women to be more aware of their value in the workplace and to actively engage in negotiating wages and working conditions.

The implementation of these measures would require a comprehensive approach including legislative changes, educational programs, measures to support work-life balance, and initiatives to promote gender equality in the workplace. The introduction and successful implementation of such measures could significantly contribute to reducing the gender pay gap and promoting equal opportunities for women in Slovakia.

17. What very specific solutions would you propose for the transposition?

Based on the analysis of available information and identified areas requiring change or new definitions of measures within the Slovak Republic to ensure pay equality, I propose the following specific solutions:

Improving Pay Transparency:

  • Introduce legislation requiring employers to publish extensive gender-disaggregated pay data, including median and average wages within the organization.
  • Implement a job evaluation and classification system that is transparent and gender-neutrally designed to ensure that wages are set based on objective criteria.

Supporting Work-Life Balance:

  • Develop and fund programs to support the availability and affordability of childcare and elder care.
  • Introduce flexible working models and support working from home as standard options for all employees, regardless of gender.

Increasing Women's Confidence and Negotiation Skills:

  • Develop educational programs and workshops aimed at boosting women's confidence, teaching negotiation techniques, and emphasizing the importance of wage negotiation.
  • Create mentoring and networking programs for women to provide them with career development opportunities and connections with leaders in their fields.

Combating Labor Market Segregation:

  • Introduce initiatives and incentives for women to enter industries and professions where they are traditionally underrepresented, such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and finance.
  • Promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace through awareness campaigns targeting employers and society as a whole.

Ensuring Equal Access to Education and Training:

  • Eliminate gender stereotypes in education and professional orientation, promoting equal access and opportunities for men and women in all areas of study and employment.
  • Implement specific programs and scholarships for women in fields where they are underrepresented.

Legislative Measures Against Discrimination:

  • Draft and implement stricter anti-discrimination laws that include clear definitions and penalties for direct and indirect gender-based discrimination in pay.
  • Establish an independent institution or gender equality ombudsman with the authority to investigate cases of discrimination and pay equality.

These solutions should be part of a comprehensive strategy to improve pay equality in Slovakia. Their successful implementation will require coordinated efforts from the government, social partners, employers, and civil society.

18. Is it possible to use a uniform job classification system that already exists in one of the EU member states so that a new system meeting the requirements of the directive can be easily built upon it in all EU member states, since many employers operate in several member states and a very different transposition into local legislation can cause extreme problems for employers if they try to comply with the same initiative defined by the same directive but implemented very differently in individual member states? 

Using a uniform job classification system at the European Union level could bring significant benefits in simplifying the implementation of the equal pay directive across multiple member states. Such a system could serve as the foundation for creating a consistent and transparent framework that would simplify the job evaluation and classification process for international companies operating in various jurisdictions within the EU.

Advantages of a Uniform System:

  • Consistency and Uniformity: A uniform system would ensure that all member states use the same criteria and methods for evaluating and classifying jobs, which would facilitate employers' compliance with the directive across different jurisdictions.
  • Reduced Administrative Burden: A unified approach would mean that international companies do not need to develop and manage different job evaluation systems for each member state, significantly reducing their administrative burden.
  • Easier Sharing of Best Practices: A centralized system would allow for easier sharing of best practices and methodologies among member states, contributing to further improvement and optimization of the system.
  • Transparency and Comparability: A uniform system would increase transparency and enable cross-border comparability of compensation, supporting equal treatment and equal pay for equal work or work of equal value.


  • Diversity of Labor Markets and Economies: The EU consists of member states with very different labor markets and economies. Creating a uniform system that effectively works under all these conditions presents a considerable challenge.
  • Need for Flexibility: The system would need to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate specific needs and conditions in individual member states while still maintaining its consistent and uniform character.

Implementing such a system would require extensive cooperation between member states, the European Commission, and social partners, as well as detailed technical and legal studies. Although it would be challenging, the potential benefits for simpler and more effective implementation of the equal pay directive across the EU could be significant.

19. Is it possible to recommend an existing system as a basis for a future uniform system?

Based on the current state of my research capabilities and information obtained from available sources, it is not possible to recommend a specific existing job classification system in the EU that could serve as a unified basis for a future uniform system. However, there are several internationally recognized systems and methodologies that could provide valuable starting points for the development of such a unified job classification at the EU level:

International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO):

  • ISCO, developed by the International Labour Organization (ILO), provides an international standard for the classification of occupations. It could serve as a foundation for the development of a unified classification in the EU, given its broad international recognition and use.

European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO):

  • ESCO is a multilingual classification of skills, competences, qualifications, and occupations used across the EU. This classification could serve as a basis for harmonizing job evaluation and classification in terms of skills and competences.

National Occupational Classification (NOC) Systems:

  • Some EU member states have their own national occupational classification systems, which could provide useful insights for the development of a unified system. It is important to analyze and compare these national systems to identify best practices and approaches that could benefit a unified system at the EU level.

In selecting or developing a unified system, it would be important to consider the need for flexibility to ensure the system is sufficiently adaptable to different market conditions and working environments within the EU while ensuring consistency, transparency, and fairness in job evaluation and classification. Moreover, such a system should be designed with active involvement of social partners, including employers, unions, and governments, to ensure its acceptability and effectiveness.

20. Would it make sense to use the Brazilian classification system CBO for this purpose?

The Brazilian occupational classification system, known as CBO (Classificação Brasileira de Ocupações), is an extensive and detailed system that classifies and standardizes the titles and characteristics of occupations in the Brazilian labor market. Although the CBO is designed to meet the needs and specifics of the Brazilian labor market, there are certain aspects and approaches in this system that could be inspirational for the development of a uniform job classification system in the European Union.

Positive aspects of using CBO as inspiration:

  • Detailed Classification and Structuring: CBO provides a detailed overview of various occupations, including their skills, qualifications, and work activities. This level of detail could help in creating a comprehensive and universal system that encompasses various aspects of jobs.
  • Updating and Adaptability: The Brazilian system is regularly updated to reflect changes in the labor market and technology. This flexibility would also be key for a European system that needs to be adaptable to future developments and innovations.
  • Consideration of Local Specifics: CBO takes into account the specifics of the Brazilian labor market and culture, which is important for a European system where the diversity of the labor market within the EU needs to be considered.

Challenges and Limitations:

  • Cultural and Economic Differences: Directly transferring CBO or any national system from one country to an international level could encounter challenges associated with cultural and economic differences between countries.
  • Legal and Regulatory Differences: The system must be designed to respect the legal and regulatory frameworks of all EU member states, which may be more complicated when adapting a system from a country outside the EU.

Although directly transferring the Brazilian CBO system to the European context may not be practical due to various differences and specifics, certain principles and methods used in CBO could serve as valuable inspiration for developing a universal job classification system in the EU. The key would be to adapt these aspects to reflect the unique needs and structures of the European labor market.

21. If we were to take as a model the system existing in France, what is your opinion?

The French job classification system, known as "Classification Professionnelle," is often considered a comprehensive and well-structured system aimed at organizing and categorizing occupations based on various criteria such as skills, responsibilities, and working conditions. France has a long history in labor rights and equality, which could offer useful inspirations for other countries including EU member states in implementing or updating their own job classification systems.

Positive aspects of taking the French system as a model:

  • Emphasis on Equality and Transparency: The French system places strong emphasis on principles of equality and transparency in compensation, aligning with the objectives of the EU directive on equal pay. Adopting a similar approach could help ensure that all EU member states follow common principles of equality.
  • Adaptability and Updates: The French system is regularly updated to reflect changes in the labor market and technology. This approach to adaptability could be valuable in creating a system that accommodates the rapidly changing work environment in the EU.
  • Consideration of Various Levels of Qualifications and Skills: The French system detailedly categorizes job positions according to levels of qualification and required skills. This detailed approach could help create an accurate and fair evaluation system that is applicable across different sectors and professions.


  • Cultural and Economic Differences in the EU: Despite many advantages, direct application of the French model across the EU could encounter challenges associated with different cultural and economic contexts in various member states.
  • Need for Flexibility and Localization: The system would need sufficient flexibility to adapt to the specific needs and conditions in individual member states while still maintaining consistent and unified principles at the EU level.

Using the French job classification system as a model for a unified system in the EU could bring several benefits, but it would also be necessary to address the mentioned challenges. Creating an effective and fair system would require close cooperation between member states, the European Commission, and social partners to ensure its adaptability and successful implementation across the EU.

22. If we were to take as a model the system existing in Germany, what is your opinion?

The German job classification system, known for its detail and precision, is often cited as an example of a well-functioning system that supports transparency and fairness in workplace compensation. Using the German system as a model for a unified system in the EU could bring several potential benefits as well as challenges:


  • Thoroughness and Precision: The German system is characterized by a meticulous and precise approach to job evaluation and classification, which can help ensure fair and transparent compensation based on objective criteria.
  • Extensive Practice and Experience: Germany has years of experience in implementing and adjusting its classification system, including the involvement of social partners. These experiences could provide valuable lessons for the development and introduction of a similar system at the EU level.
  • Support for Professional Development and Career Progression: The German system often supports career development and advancement of employees by clearly identifying the necessary skills and qualifications for different levels and types of positions.


  • Cultural and Economic Differences: When applying the German system at the EU level, it would be necessary to consider differences in labor markets, cultures, and economies of the member states. The system would need to be sufficiently flexible to respect this diversity.
  • Need for Adaptation and Localization: While the fundamental principles and structure of the German system could serve as a model, specific elements and application would likely require adaptation to the specific needs and conditions in different member states.
  • Regulatory and Legislative Challenges: Implementing a unified job classification system in the EU would require coordination and compliance with various national legal and regulatory frameworks, which could be complex and time-consuming.

Overall, while using the German job classification system as a model might seem like an attractive option for a unified system in the EU, it is important to carefully consider the necessary adjustments and adaptations for the system to function effectively and be acceptable to all member states. This process would require extensive collaboration and consultations with all stakeholders, including social partners, labor law experts, and worker representatives.

23. What national job categorization systems do we have in EU?

 I can provide a broader overview with an emphasis on known systems or sources where job categorization or classification might be inferred or partially covered, acknowledging that this overview cannot comprehensively capture the full detail or current status of each system:

  1. Austria: Austria uses the Österreichischer Berufsklassifikation (ÖBK) which is the Austrian Classification of Occupations.

  2. Belgium: Belgium has the Competentie- en Beroepenrepertorium voor de Arbeidsmarkt (CBR) in Flanders, which translates to Competencies and Professions Repertoire for the Labor Market.

  3. Bulgaria: The National Classification of Professions and Positions (Национална класификация на професиите и длъжностите, НКПД) might serve similar purposes.

  4. Croatia: The Croatian Employment Service (Hrvatski zavod za zapošljavanje, HZZ) offers a classification which might align with Klasifikacija zanimanja, Classification of Occupations.

  5. Cyprus: Information on specific systems for job categorization in Cyprus is less readily available in English.

  6. Czech Republic: The Klasifikace povolání (Classification of Occupations) is used for categorizing jobs.

  7. Denmark: The Danmarks Statistik categorizes jobs, and the Danish job classification system might be referred to in datasets and labor market statistics.

  8. Estonia: Estonia has the Ametite klassifikaator which is the Estonian Classification of Occupations.

  9. Finland: The Finnish job classification system can be found within the Ammattiluokitus provided by Statistics Finland.

  10. France: The Répertoire Opérationnel des Métiers et des Emplois (ROME) is used for categorizing jobs and professions.

  11. Germany: The Klassifikation der Berufe (KldB) by the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) is the primary system.

  12. Greece: The Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) and the Greek Public Employment Service (DYPA) may provide classifications used within the labor market.

  13. Hungary: Hungary's National Employment Service (Nemzeti Foglalkoztatási Szolgálat) may offer job categorization insights.

  14. Ireland: The Standard Occupational Classification System is used in statistical and labor market analysis.

  15. Italy: The Classificazione delle Professioni (Classification of Professions) by ISTAT is the reference system.

  16. Latvia: The Profesiju klasifikators serves as the Classification of Occupations.

  17. Lithuania: The Profesijų klasifikatorius is the Lithuanian Classification of Occupations.

  18. Luxembourg: The ADEM has resources that likely include job classification or categorization systems.

  19. Malta: The Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF) may include aspects of job categorization.

  20. Netherlands: The Beroepen in Beeld (BiB) offers a view on professions, mainly for educational guidance.

  21. Poland: The Klasyfikacja zawodów i specjalności for labor market services and statistics.

  22. Portugal: The Classificação Portuguesa das Profissões (CPP) is used for professional classification.

  23. Romania: The COR - Clasificarea Ocupațiilor din România is the Romanian Classification of Occupations.

  24. Slovakia: The Klasifikácia povolaní is available for job categorization.

  25. Slovenia: The Klasius-P system provides classification within education and potentially overlaps with occupation categorization.

  26. Spain: The Clasificación Nacional de Ocupaciones (CNO) is the National Classification of Occupations.

  27. Sweden: The Standard för svensk yrkesklassificering (SSYK) by Statistics Sweden is used.

This list attempts to reference systems that include or are related to job categorization but might not capture the full complexity or the most current version of each system. For detailed information, consultation with the specific country's labor or national statistics authority is recommended.