Egalité salariale femmes-hommes : « Demander la fiche de paie d’un collègue est désormais possible »

LThe United Nations has designated September 18 as the World Day for Pay Equality, in order to support the efforts of organizations, individuals, and businesses in promoting wage equality. The gender pay gap stands at 20% globally, according to the UN. This means that women earn approximately one-fifth less than their male counterparts.

If France does not have a lesson to teach the world in terms of wage equality, a notable advancement in 2023 is still worth mentioning: it is now possible to request a colleague’s pay slip from the human resources department to verify that there is no wage inequality. Following a decision by the Court of Cassation on March 8, 2023, regarding a former employee’s claim of being a victim of wage inequality, it was established that “this communication of information (…) was essential for exercising the right to evidence and proportionate to the pursued objective, which is the defense of the employee’s legitimate interest in equal treatment between men and women in terms of employment and work.”

This decision means that all women who feel discriminated against in their company because they are not paid the same as their male colleagues can now legally ask their supervisor or HR manager for the pay slip of their male colleague. This is not only a significant step towards wage equality, but also a historic decision.

The wage gap remains high.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), the average salary of a woman in France in 2021 is 18.63 euros. On the other hand, the average salary of a man in France in 2021 is 24.64 euros, as reported by the same organization. On average, men earn 32.29% more than women, while women earn 24.4% less. These inequalities have multiple causes: women tend to have lower-paying jobs in a capitalist economy, they are more likely to work part-time, and they also face discrimination based on their gender.

This discrimination is particularly highlighted by the wage gap between two individuals with the same level of responsibility, similar educational background, and the same number of years of professional experience: 9% according to the Ministry of Labor. The year 2023 did not start well in terms of economic equality. The retirement reform, enacted after heated debates and no vote in the National Assembly, will significantly impoverish women economically.

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