Luxembourg is the only country in the European Union where women earn a higher average hourly wage than men in the private sector.
This is a rare phenomenon, which can be explained by the fact that in the Grand Duchy, employees are often highly qualified in specialised fields. Women frequently have a higher level of education than their male colleagues, although this only applies up to the age of 40.
Nevertheless, disparities in pay remain prevalent in various professions. Women are also at a disadvantage when it comes to positions of high responsibility, which they are not often given. In addition, a higher incidence of part-time employment among women persists, with one in three women in Luxembourg working part-time. The main reasons for this are maternity leave, resulting in more prolonged absences, and family commitments that necessitate reduced working hours. These factors have a direct impact on women's annual incomes and, subsequently, their retirement prospects.
To address this issue, Luxembourg enacted a law in 2016 that enshrines the principle of equal pay for men and women in the Labour Code. Employers found responsible for unjustified gender-based pay inequalities can face fines ranging from €251 to €25,000.
The Ministry of Equality between Women and Men has introduced a specialised programme designed to assist companies in swiftly identifying instances of unequal pay for equal work within their organisations. Approximately 120 companies have already participated in this initiative.
Full report by RTL Télé (in Luxembourgish and French)