France unveils steps to detect men-women pay gap

Companies with more than 250 employees to install software next year and have three years to correct any discrepancies.

    Philippe says 'software is not a magic wand' but it will reveal certain pay differences [Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE]
    Philippe says 'software is not a magic wand' but it will reveal certain pay differences [Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE]

    The French government has announced it will implement new measures to combat gender pay gaps in the workplace.

    Edouard Philippe, France's prime minister, said his government is looking to introduce new software to better detect "unjustified" pay gaps between men and women.

    "The crazy thing is that it all exists in law but equality is missing in practice," he told union leaders and employers.

    "Our aim is to pass from fine words to true, genuine equality."

    Companies with more than 250 employees are expected to install the software next year and will have three years to correct any discrepancies.

    Failure to comply with the new regulations could lead to fines of up to one percent of a company's wage bill.

    Smaller companies - those employing between 50 and 249 people - will have till 2020 to fall in line with the government’s new action plan.

    The measure is one of 50 initiatives announced by Philippe on Thursday.

    Many of these are said to have been informed by local best practices encountered by Marlene Schiappa, state secretary for gender equality equality, during a 2017 Gender Equality Tour de France.

    Men are on average paid nine percent more than women in France, even though the law has required equal pay for the same work for the past 45 years, the government said on Wednesday.


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