NL is not doing enough to close pay gap, European Committee says

NL is not doing enough to close pay gap, European Committee says

The European Committee of Social Rights has said the Netherlands is not doing enough to reduce the gender pay gap. 

European Committee ruling

The committee, a regulator for the Council of Europe, believes that the Netherlands has violated the European Social Charter, which addresses everyone’s right to equal opportunities and treatment at work, as well as equal pay.  

As regulator for the Council of Europe, the committee is responding to a case issued by the University Women of Europe - a network of educated women that stands up for women’s rights. Their case stated that the Netherlands (along with a number of other European countries) was in violation of the Charter in regards to the pay gap between men and women and the under-representation of women in positions within private companies. 

The committee found that, while the Netherlands has taken measures to close the gap, it is not closing at a sufficient rate. They also stated that more should be done to keep employers open about compensation systems, as “that makes it easier for everyone, especially women, to ask for equal pay for the same work."

The gender pay gap in the Netherlands

Figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reveal that in 2018 women earned, on average, 19 percent less in the business world and eight percent less in government than their male counterparts. 

Luckily, since then, it has narrowed slightly, In 2019, women’s hourly wages were an average of 14 percent less than their male counterparts. However, women’s average annual salary was a whopping 38 percent lower. 

CBS does acknowledge that the pay gap in the Netherlands can be partly attributed to the fact that several women choose to work part time, or because they more regularly work in sectors with lower salaries. However, the gap is also due to the fact that, without reason, women earn less than their male colleagues for the same jobs.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

Read more



Leave a comment