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November 12, 2017

Equal pay for equal work

Equal pay for equal work

Equal pay for equal work is the concept of labor rights that individuals in the same workplace be given equal pay. It is most commonly used in the context of sexual discrimination, in relation to the gender pay gap. Equal pay relates to the full range of payments and benefits, including basic pay, non-salary payments, bonuses and allowances. Some countries have moved faster than others in addressing the problem. Since President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, it has been illegal in the United States to pay men and women working in the same place different salaries for similar work

Early history
As wage-labor became increasingly formalized during the Industrial Revolution, women were often paid less than their male counterparts for the same labor, whether for the explicit reason that they were women or under another pretext. The principle of equal pay for equal work arose at the same time, as part of first-wave feminism, with early efforts for equal pay being associated with nineteenth-century Trade Union activism in industrialised countries: for example, a series of strikes by unionised women in the UK in the 1830s. Pressure from Trade Unions has had varied effects, with trade unions sometimes promoting conservatism. However, following the Second World War, trade unions and the legislatures of industrialized countries gradually embraced the principle of equal pay for equal work; one example of this process is the UK's introduction of the Equal Pay Act 1970 in response both to the Treaty of Rome and the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968. In recent years European trade unions have generally exerted pressure on states and employers for progress in this direction.

International human rights law
In international human rights law, the statement on equal pay is the 1951 Equal Remuneration Convention, Convention 100 of the International Labour Organisation, a United Nations body. The Convention states that
Each Member shall, by means appropriate to the methods in operation for determining rates of remuneration, promote and, in so far as is consistent with such methods, ensure the application to all workers of the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value.
Equal pay for equal work is also covered by Article 7 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 4 of the European Social Charter, and Article 15 of African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. The Constitution of the International Labour Organization also proclaims "the principles of equal remuneration for equal value".
The EEOC's four affirmative defenses allows unequal pay for equal work when the wages are set "pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) ... any other factor other than sex." A pay differential due to one of these factors is not in breach of the Convention.

While greater education does increase women's overall earnings, it does not significantly close the gender wage gap. At every academic achievement level, women's median salaries are less than men's by at least 21 percent.
The pay gap is significantly linked to factors such as college major and type of job pursued after graduation, although there is still a large part that cannot be explained by career choice. In a 2012 analysis, AAUW found that women are paid only 82 percent of what their male peers are earning just a year after college graduation. Ten years out of college, the gap widens with women earning a mere 69 percent of what men earn.

Criticisms of the principle of equal pay for equal work include criticism of the mechanisms used to achieve it and the methodology by which the gap is measured. Some believe that government actions to correct gender pay disparity serve to interfere with the system of voluntary exchange. They argue the fundamental issue is that the employer is the owner of the job, not the government or the employee. The employer negotiates the job and pays according to performance, not according to job duties. A private business would not want to lose its best performers by compensating them less and can ill afford paying its lower performers higher because the overall productivity will decline. However, the Independent Women's Forum cites another study that prognosticates the wage gap possibly disappearing "when controlled for experience, education, and number of years on the job".

Sarkari Niyukti Sarkari Niyukti - Government Jobs in India - सरकारी नियुक्ति | Image Courtesy - Sarkari Niyukti Sarkari Niyukti - Government Jobs in India - सरकारी नियुक्ति
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