The European Commission announced in March that it would introduce fines for companies that pay less wages to women than to men. If the gender gap is greater than 5 percent, fines could follow.
"The question is: can companies provide insight into such data?", asks Centric's business development manager Marcel de Dood. He is studying HR 4.0, the variant of HR that uses digital data and other possibilities offered by the internet. "CBS conducted a study in 2016 and concluded that there are 20 background characteristics that determine what someone earns. These are partly clear characteristics such as age, but for other characteristics such as education level, experience and professional level you can ask yourself whether there is a widely shared definition, let alone a good registration?"
According to De Dood, determining these characteristics also involves the question of whether companies want to register this information from the privacy side. Although HR 4.0 offers the possibilities to collect that information, that does not mean that you as an organization keep as much data about your employees as possible. “According to CBS, the household position and origin of the employee also explain differences in wages; do you want to record that?”
The HR manager compares it with the Together Act/Wet Samen, which was created in 1994 to ensure that ethnic minorities were better represented in the business world, and which was in effect until 2004. As part of this, employers asked about the cultural background of their employees' parents. "Given the current GDPR legislation and the value placed on privacy, such a request is now completely unthinkable."
"The Wet Samen failed due to privacy and unfeasibility", continues De Dood. "When companies are asked to report more extensively in order to get a better picture of the pay gap, you can end up in a similar situation."