The Malta Independent 22 March 2018, Thursday

Discussions underway to address growing gender pay gap inequalities - Helena Dalli

Thursday, 8 March 2018, 13:02 Last update: about 13 days ago

European affairs and equality minister Helena Dalli announced that discussions are underway to address the issue of gender pay inequalities. Reform should be finalized by the end of the year.

In a press conference held this morning, she described the work being carried out on the gender pay gap.

Dalli explained that the issue of gender pay inequalities is two-fold; there is the issue of a lack of wage transparency meaning female employees cannot ascertain whether they are being paid equally for work of equal value and the issue surrounding global inequalities when working out the average gross hourly earnings of men and women.

For the latter part, Dalli said this is something that will be exacerbated with more women going out to work.

“In fact from statistics we have seen that more women are entering the world of work and this gap is indeed growing.”

She said that this is a consequence from a partial success of bringing more women into the workforce thanks to family friendly initiatives such as free childcare.

It was explained that when Malta had one of the lowest female Labour force participation rates, those women in the workforce tended to have careers and could afford childcare. Since bringing in the free childcare initiative, more women entered the workforce and engaged in lower skilled jobs, which pay less. She said that as a result, there are more and more women entering these pay grades, that are accompanied by jobs that maybe allow more flexibility. This effects the global figures of the global gender pay gap in Malta.

With reference to the situation where women get paid less than men for work of equal value, the government is in discussions to have administrative structures in place that will strengthen transparency while respecting data protection laws.

The press conference was also addressed by the permanent secretary and the commissioner for the promotion of equality Renee Laiviera.


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