30 Sep 2023

Creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces is a priority for many organizations worldwide. Yet the legislative contexts governing the starting points or the limits of DE&I efforts differ from country to country.

In our recent EquiNations overview, we present a snapshot of the DE&I legislative contexts across the 20 countries with the highest number of currently EDGE Certified organizations.

By focusing in on pay equity legislation we explore the benefits EDGE Certification® can bring to employers operating in and across differing legislative contexts.

Effective management of pay equity

On a global scale, the momentum for pay equity regulation is on the rise as an increasing number of nations recognize its significance in promoting fair compensation practices for all workers. As the call for workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion resonates ever more profoundly, pay equity stands at the forefront as a critical driver for change.

Many countries worldwide have implemented pay equity laws and regulations to address wage disparities and promote equal pay for work of equal value. In fact, every nation surveyed by our DE&I legislative review has included equal pay for equivalent work, and equal pay on the basis of gender, as part of their national legislation – either as part of their constitution or as part of the national labour code.

The legal recognition of pay equity between men and women as an indispensable pillar of a just society is an important foundation for constructing and maintaining fair workplaces.

• 11 of the top 20 EDGE certifying nations (UK, Switzerland, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Spain, Australia, Austria, Belgium, and Brazil) have mandated gender pay gap reporting requirements for employers.
• In Poland, similar reporting requirements are partially in place, for the banking sector exclusively.

The legislators in more than half the sample of nations included in our research have acknowledged that while the recognition in law of the right to fair and equal pay is absolutely necessary, it might be insufficient in isolation, to address historical pay imbalances, to understand their root causes, and to work towards eradicating them. These countries have chosen to take a proactive approach, by mandating organizations with the responsibility to record and analyse the factors contributing to unfair remuneration in their workplaces. More and more countries are turning to pay gap assessment and reporting requirements as powerful tools for promoting transparency, accountability, and change. The significance of pay gap reporting lies in its potential to uncover hidden inequalities and drive necessary action for rectification.

How EDGE Certification helps

Pay equity is one of the four core pillars of the EDGE Certification assessment methodology which serves as a comprehensive framework for defining success in gender and intersectional equity initiatives. EDGE Certification ensures preparedness for evolving regulatory landscapes, equipping organizations with the necessary resources to uphold compliance amid emerging and changing pay equity regulations. For example, the recently approved EU Pay Transparency Directive which is set to bring about a substantial transformation in the way organizations address pay matters, both internally and externally.

Third-party certification can benefit employers wishing to proactively manage pay equity in their organizations, both in jurisdictions legislating pay gap reporting and in contexts where such compliance is not required by law. In the absence of national guidelines, the robustness of the EDGE Certification system guides employers regarding the best practices in pay gap analysis and aids them in creating ambitious action plans that foster accountability and drive progress.

Furthermore, in jurisdictions already mandating pay gap reporting, EDGE Certification can be a helpful tool to ensure that employers comply with their national requirements, while ensuring that pay gap reporting goes beyond a mere compliance exercise. This is achieved through placing it within a holistic framework of measuring workplace gender and intersectional equity, both quantitively and qualitatively, and setting clear and tailored goals for advancement.

In the context of reaching global pay equity, it is evident that regulatory frameworks, working to close pay gaps, differ across countries. Understanding and complying with local requirements and regulations is paramount for organizations aiming to foster pay equity. EDGE Certification not only facilitates compliance but also equips organizations to proactively address pay gaps, supporting them in their pursuit of fair and equitable compensation for all employees.

Find more information about EDGE Certification on our website.

Learn more about our EquiNations DE&I Legislative Overview