BERLIN Oct 6 Germany's ruling coalition parties
agreed on Thursday to rework a draft law on greater fairness in
wages between the sexes, in a bid to ensure greater transparency
by obliging employers to disclose their pay structures.
Thomas Oppermann, leader of the Social Democrats' (SPD)
parliamentary group, said that women in Germany on average
earned 21 percent less than men and that even if structural
disadvantages were discounted the wage discrimination gap was
still 7 percent.
"That is going to change," Oppermann said after a meeting of
senior officials from the SPD and Chancellor Angela Merkel's
conservatives, who rule in coalition.
Merkel's conservatives had criticised a previous version of
the draft law put forward by Family Minister Manuela Schwesig, a
Social Democrat, as going beyond their coalition agreement.
Under plans drawn up at Thursday's meeting, workers at
businesses with 200 employees or more will have a right to claim
information on "whether they are unfairly paid", said Oppermann.
Businesses with 500 or more workers would be obliged to
provide a report on pay structures. Oppermann said 14 million
workers would be affected by the new rules.
(Reporting by Thorsten Severin; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing
by Hugh Lawson)