SP joined by Labour, Green Left and 50PLUS in call for equal pay for equal work

6 March 2018

SP joined by Labour, Green Left and 50PLUS in call for equal pay for equal work

The SP, the two centre-left parties Green Left and PvdA (Labour) and the seniors' party 50PLUS are calling for an end to inequality between men's and women's pay. The four parties have joined hands to present a legislative proposal to the effect that organisations with more than fifty employees will be required to demonstrate that they pay men and women equal rates for equal work. To that effect a certification system will be introduced, and it will be obligatory to present every three years statistics regarding salaries paid to employees. In the event of unequal pay, the employer will be given the chance to improve the situation. If nothing is done, fines will be imposed.

Unequal pay between men and women is a stubborn problem with which many employers are also struggling. According to figures from the state Central Bureau for Statistics, women in the Netherlands earn an average 16.1% less than men. And although some of this gap can be explained, much of it cannot. Women earn annually hundreds of euros less than their male colleagues, despite doing the same work. 50PLUS, Labour, Green Left and the SP are for this reason of the opinion that measures must be taken, and have today presented a legislative proposal which would oblige organisations to be transparent when it comes to the salaries paid to workers, and to ensure that they are paid equal amounts regardless of gender.

In this the Netherlands will be following the example of other countries, including Iceland, Germany and the United Kingdom, all of which have adopted laws in recent years which make more openness and equal pay obligatory.

SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk, commenting on the decision to present the proposal, said: ‘Paying women less for the same work is absolutely shameful. A century after the introduction of votes for women, it's high time we put this right. We are counting on broad support for our law. Parties which fail to support us clearly want to send women back to the last century.”

The four signatory parties will over the next few weeks be consulting employers, employees and interest groups about how they see the proposed law on equal pay. 50PLUS, the SP, Green Left and Labour are determined to follow this up by submitting the definitive version of the legislative proposal before the end of the parliamentary year.

You are here