The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) has adopted 15 decisions on state compliance with the right to equal pay and the right to equal opportunities in the workplace, following complaints lodged by University Women Europe (UWE) in 2016. The decisions, that became public on 29 June 2020, concern the 15 states that have accepted the complaints procedure (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden). The decisions identify strong standards in the field of equal pay and they require that the right to equal pay has to be guaranteed by law.
The ECSR has identified obligations to guarantee the rights to equal pay and equal opportunities in the workplace. Among these obligations, are: to recognize the right to equal pay, to ensure access to remedies to victims of pay discriminations, and to guarantee pay transparency.
14 out of the 15 States were found to be in violation of some aspects of the obligation. However, the ECSR also noted positive developments, with measures that have led to some progress in reducing the gender pay gap, but the progress is slow. The full realisation of the equal pay principle is still prevented by problems and practices such as segregation in the labour market, lack of pay transparency, secrecy regarding pay levels, obstacles to access effective remedies and retaliatory dismissals.