German Federal Labour Court: Equal Pay Is Not a Matter of Negotiation

March 2023
Region: Europe
Today (8 March 2023) is International Women’s Day, and one of the key objectives of the day is to raise awareness about discrimination, including pay discrimination, and to help forge a gender equal world.

In Germany, pay equality between men and women is statistically not a reality. According to a survey conducted by the German Federal Statistical Office, women with comparable qualifications, jobs and employment histories earned, on average, 7% less per hour than their male colleagues in 2022. Due to absences caused by parental leave and part-time work, among other things, the pay gap is growing, resulting in a pay gap between men and women in Germany as high as 18% on average.

Despite the legal framework in place in Germany there has not been a flood of lawsuits to date. This could now change as a result of a recent decision of the Federal Labour Court, in which the court determined that negotiating skills in salary discussions do not constitute a reason to pay higher remuneration and may therefore be discriminatory.