German Labour Court rules on Equal Pay

Article by Ami Spencer, COO Webgains

Following up on this years International Women’s Day, it was interesting to read how in the UK there are still large pay gaps being reported. One regular but obviously invalid response to this is often that one gender is better than another at negotiation.

In Germany there have long been laws against this unfair practice. In the last three weeks, the Federal Labour Court ruled that negotiating skills are not a valid justification for unequal pay between men and women. The case involved a female department head who discovered that she was being paid less than a male colleague in a comparable position. The employer argued that the male colleague had better negotiating skills, but the court rejected this argument, stating that negotiating skills cannot be used to justify unequal pay if they are not related to the job requirements.

The court’s decision emphasises that employers have a responsibility to ensure equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender. The ruling highlights the importance of objective and transparent criteria for determining pay, and the need to eliminate any gender-based biases that may influence salary decisions.

Overall, the decision sets an important precedent in the fight for gender equality in the workplace and sends a clear message that negotiating skills cannot be used as an excuse for paying women less than men. Even though this case is from Germany there is no doubt that the tide against equal pay is turning very much to a more favourable and equitable position in many more countries and territories. There is still more to be done but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

More information about this case and subsequent ruling can be found in this blog post.

Ami Spencer is COO of Webgains. With 9 years of affiliate marketing experience across global markets, Ami has built up a large network of relationships, having worked with influential publishers, advertisers and agencies. Now at Webgains acting as COO, Ami is responsible for leading key global functions including Product, Business Intelligence, HR as well as Client Success.