Decisions on the merits of Collective Complaints by UWE

On 17 mars 2021,  The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe  recommends to 14 Members States to respect the decision on the merits that Dr Anne Bergheim-Nègre obtained in the name of UWE on equal pay  between women and men and  more  women in position making in private firms.

The findings published by the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) set out legal assessments of the follow-up given by States Parties to decisions of the ECSR in collective complaints. States Parties having accepted the collective complaints procedure under the European Social Charter are under an obligation to submit reports – as part of the Charter’s reporting procedure – on the measures they have taken to answer to  decisions

Findings 2022 of the ECSR concern 7 States: Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden.

The ECSR found that none of the decisions examined had been fully implemented so as to bring the situation into conformity with the Charter. However, in several cases it found that definite progress had been made.

The ECSR calls upon the States concerned to take all necessary measures to implement the decisions at issue. While acknowledging that some of the situations examined are complex and require time and resources to bring them into conformity with the Charter, the States Parties have duty to act in good faith, both in their participation in the procedure under the Additional Protocol and in relation to the Charter itself. The duty to cooperate with the Committee and its findings in relation to collective complaints arises from an application of the principle of good faith to the observance of all treaty obligations.

In this respect, the ECSR also calls upon the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers – the body with ultimate responsibility for overseeing the follow-up to decisions in collective complaints – to continue to show vigilance in ensuring that the ECSR’s decisions are properly implemented.

By instance we can see that for Croatia the ECSR examined the follow-up to UWE v. Croatia on equal pay for women and men and found that the situation had still not been brought into conformity with the Charter provisions invoked. The problems identified concern access to an effective remedy, lack of pay transparency, insufficient measurable progress in combatting the gender pay gap, and insufficient representation of women in decision-making positions within private companies.

In respect of Cyprus, the ECSR examined the follow-up to UWE v. Cyprus on equal pay for women and men and found that the situation had still not been brought into conformity with the Charter provisions invoked. The problems identified concern lack of pay transparency and insufficient representation of women in decision-making positions within private companies.

In respect of the Czech Republic, the ECSR examined the follow-up to UWE v. Czech Republic, outstanding problems related to restrictions on job comparisons and pay transparency, insufficient measurable progress in combatting the gender pay gap, and insufficient representation of women in decision-making positions within private companies.

In respect of the Netherlands, the ECSR examined the follow-up to UWE v. the Netherlands, problems remain with respect to lack of pay transparency as well as insufficient measurable progress in combatting the gender pay gap.

In respect of Norway, the ECSR examined the follow-up to UWE v. Norway and found that the situation had still not been brought into conformity with the relevant Charter provisions. The problems identified concern restrictions on job comparisons and insufficient measurable progress in combatting the gender pay gap.

In respect of Slovenia, the ECSR examined the follow-up to UWE v. Slovenia and found that the situation had still not been brought into conformity with the relevant Charter provisions. Ongoing problems identified concern access to effective remedies, restrictions on job comparisons, and the lack of a clear definition of equal work and work of equal value. On the other hand, the ECSR found that there had been sufficient measurable progress in combatting the gender pay gap and that the situation is now in conformity with the Charter on this particular point.

We have seen that the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) published on 22 3 2023 its Conclusions 2022 in respect of 33 States on the articles of the European Social Charter relating to Labour Rights.

AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia and HerzegovinaBulgaria,Denmark,EstoniaFinlandFranceGermanyGeorgiaGreeceHungaryIrelandItalyLatvia,Lithuania,LuxembourgMaltathe Republic of MoldovaMontenegrothe Netherlands Curaçaothe Netherlands Caribbean partNorth MacedoniaPolandPortugalRomaniaSerbiathe Slovak RepublicSpain,Tϋrkiye and the United Kingdom.

 

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