Muriel Penicaud: “We will move to an obligation of result in terms of equality between men and women”

The Minister of Labor is giving herself three years to close the 9% salary gap that continues to exist between men and women and remains unexplained. It details for “Les Echos” the government’s plan to try to achieve this ambitious goal.

Image result for Muriel PenicaudOn the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8th, the government presents a plan of about twenty measures to fight against the wage inequalities between men and women in the company as well as the sexist and sexual violence in the world of work. The Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, received all the social partners on Wednesday to present the plan that details the Minister of Labor, Muriel Pénicaud, for “Les Echos”.

What is your plan to fight against inequalities between men and women?

This action plan is submitted today to the social partners. In terms of wages, we all agree on the fact that the law that sets the principle of “equal pay for equal work” is 45 years old, and still today it is not applied and inequalities persist. delete by 2022. It’s ambitious but inescapable.

So we looked for pragmatic measures that could change the game. Today, in France, for equal work, the unexplained gap between the remuneration of a man and a woman is 9%. The problem must be tackled head-on. It is a question of social justice for women but also of competitiveness for companies. Many studies show that mixed enterprises are more efficient, more innovative and more attractive.

How do you plan to do it?

The first topic is the measurement of the pay gap. Today, she is not normal. We will make available a software free of rights (NDRL: as it exists in Switzerland), which will be integrated into the payroll software from 2019 for companies with more than 250 employees and in 2020 for others that will measure this gap . This will allow each company to evaluate the wage effort needed to remove it.

A specific envelope for women’s catch-up in the context of mandatory annual negotiations is a path to explore. We could give businesses until 2022 to comply with the law. If they are not, they will be punished. We will substitute an obligation of result for the present obligation of means.

Does having a dedicated envelope in the mandatory annual negotiations for women’s catch-up pay the risk of depriving other employees of an increase?

That’s why we’re giving businesses a deadline by 2022 to eliminate unexplained pay gaps between men and women. If you do it over a year, you run the risk that no man will be increased over this period. Over several years, we avoid this pitfall.

Will you also reform the sanctions regime?

Yes. The sanctions of companies that do not respect the principle of “equal work for equal pay” will be increased The sliders are not yet fixed We will discuss with the social partners We will also multiply the controls by the labor inspectorate corporate obligations with regard to equal pay, starting this year, and going from 1,700 checks a year to 7,000 checks a year.

You mentioned the idea of ​​publishing the names of companies that do not respect their obligations, the name and shame. Will you do it?

Sanctions are not enough. In addition, we want to set corporate transparency goals. Public opinion has changed, it has become much more sensitive to the subject. There is now a strong image issue around professional equality. We must rely on it. We will therefore force companies to publish on the Internet the overall wage gap and give elected representatives of the Social and Economic Committee access to detailed data by category of employee.

And because listed companies must set the example and the, we will involve their governing bodies on the subject. We are going to ask for the update of the Afep / Medef code so that the boards of directors produce an annual debate on equal pay on the principle of “comply or explain”, that is to say apply or explain.

What other levers do you plan to operate?

We also count on the action of the professional branches which must produce an annual report. They will have to give an account of their action on classifications, the promotion of gender diversity so that they serve women’s career paths. We will also reform the Equality label, and push the best practices to better reconcile family life and professional life, such as telecommuting for example, which is now a right since the publication of ordinances on labor law. This right also benefits men. It should also be added to the fact that now employees working at least half-time, of whom there is a majority of women, will have the same rights to training as full-time employees.

What is the link with Marlène Schiappa’s bill on March 21?

Marlene Schiappa’s bill is broader, it concerns sexist and sexual violence in society as a whole. We work closely together because it is also a subject of the world of work. We have planned several measures on this point in our plan announced this Wednesday. As for the legislative measures concerning equal pay and working life, they will be included in the draft law on the freedom to choose one’s professional future, which I will present to the Council of Ministers at the end of April. The fact of appointing a referent in the company that allows the victim to have an interlocutor with whom she can speak with confidence and the training of all professionals likely to accommodate victims are part of it.