Wages: a façade of equality

By Camille FratiLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

The pay gap between men and women in Luxembourg is officially close to zero. However, the battle has not been won yet. This figure hides very different realities evading the 2016 law.

Six years ago, the DP-LSAP-déi gréng government passed the Equal Pay Act with much fanfare. This was an obvious sign of modernity and a good nation-branding operation ─ surpassed two years later by the giant step taken by Iceland, which, since January 1, 2018, has required companies to provide proof that they respect equal pay for equal work, whereas in Luxembourg it is still up to the employee to prove that he or she is a victim of discrimination.

In fact, Luxembourg had already adopted a grand ducal regulation on equal pay for men and women in 1974, one of the first texts adopted by the Thorn-Vouel government, marking the very first post-war LSAP-DP coalition. The regulation signed by the Minister of Labour and former Arbed trade unionist Benny Berg already stipulated that "every employer is obliged to ensure equal pay for men and women for the same work or for work of equal value". But there were no penalties for recalcitrant companies.

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