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Equal Pay

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Chapter Summary

The gender segregation of the labour market contributes possibly more than other factors, to the disparity in pay. The International Labour Organization (ILO) realised already in 1951 the importance of extending equal pay beyond the same or equal work to work of equal value. The European Union (EU) has incorporated this concept in 1975 in secondary legislation and subsequently in primary law. This chapter addresses the question: Is the principle of equal pay for men and women in the nature of a jus cogens from which there is no derogation, or can the parties contract out of the legal requirement of equality of remuneration? The case law of the ECJ is rich in illustrations of the scope of pay. The issue of part-time work has preoccupied the ECJ in numerous cases.

Keywords: equal pay; European Union (EU) legislation; international labour organization (ILO); part-time work



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