Addressing the gender pay gap: Government and social partner actions – Slovakia

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Inequality,
  • Pay and income,
  • Working conditions,
  • Published on: 26 April 2010



About
Country:
Slovakia
Author:
Margita Barošová
Institution:

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

Studies aimed at the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) are rare in Slovakia. If they exist, they normally concentrate only upon the unadjusted GPG while the analysis of its causes is not a matter of regular monitoring in Slovakia. There are no special initiatives of the Government and social partners aimed at its gradual decrease. Employer associations pay very little attention to the GPG. The GPG has its origins in gender segregation at the labour market, gender stereotypes and in discrimination in remuneration. In the last years, there is a trend to increase rather than decrease the GPG in Slovakia.

1. The gender pay gap: national data

1.1. Please provide the reference details (see fact-sheet below), including a brief summary, of the main studies and research on the size and the determinants of the gender pay gap in your country published in the period 1999-2009.

National studies on the gender pay gap

National studies on the gender pay gap

Fact-sheet no. 1

Title

Equal Pay for Equal Work? Aspects of the Gender Pay Gap.

Authors

Jarmila Filadelfiová, Oľga Gyárfášová, Ľubica Kobová, Oľga Pietruchová, Martin Slosiarik. Editor: Jana Cviková

Year of publication

2007

Bibliographic references

Aspekt - Interest Association of Women, Bratislava, First edition ISBN 978-80-85549-76-8; EAN 9788085549768

Link to electronic copy of the report

http://www.aspekt.sk/kniha_det.php?IDkniha=110&kat=nov

Coverage (nation-wide, sectors, occupations, regions, etc: please specify in detail)

Nation-wide

Time span (e.g. 1995-2003)

1997-2006

Data-set (official, ad-hoc survey or study, etc: please specify in detail)

Official (Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic and Trexima, Ltd., Bratislava)

Type of analyses performed on the data-set (methods, e.g. Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition)

Analyses of wages of men and women.

Main results. Unadjusted gender pay gap (W/M%*): please indicate both levels and trends

GPG (from average hourly pay)

1997= 78.5%

2006=73.1%

The gender wage gap varies according to various components of the wage payments.

Example: GPG 2006 (from average monthly gross wage)

Basic wage: 78.2 %; Supplements and additional payments: 71.8%; Bonuses and rewards: 52.9 %; refund of wage: 75.5 %; other payroll components (13th and 14th wage, in kind benefits): 58.8 %; Gross wage total: 73.1 %

Women concentrate in lower pay bands. In 2006, in full time employment the share of women in the pay band to 15,000 SKK 54%, men 36.4 %. In the pay band above 25,000 SKK, there were 11.1 % of women and 23.1 % of men.

Main results. Adjusted gender pay gap (W/M%*): please indicate both levels and trends

Adjusted GPG is not a subject of the publication.

Main results. Please list the individual and/or workplace variables taken into consideration in the adjusted gender pay gap (e.g. education, age, seniority, working hours, occupation, region, sector, firm size, etc.)

Adjusted GPG is not a subject of the publication.

Main results. Which ‘institutional’ or policy variables (qualitative or quantitative) have been taken into account in the study?

Is there evidence (i.e. in multi-national studies incorporating your country, or when observing a national switch in policies such as, for instance, the introduction of sectoral minimum wages) that certain institutional factors or policies have tended to affect (narrow) the gender pay gap?

These factors were not a subject of the study.

Main results. The determinants of the gender pay gap: please provide a brief summary

GPG is larger when we compare monthly earnings rather than hourly earnings. GPG is much more pronounced in the private sector. Horizontal segregation of the labour market is very pronounced and "female" jobs are less valued. GPG occurs not only between sectors but also within sectors. The increase of the educational level does not automatically mean that women get better positions and a better pay. GPG is universal; it concerns all groups in the labour market. Statistical and research data indicate that the GPG in Slovakia has even deepened in the past years.

Main results. Policy recommendations: please provide a brief summary

Causes of the GPG are multiple. Therefore, it is necessary to work with aspects such as equality of opportunities in the labour market and in reconciliation of work and family life. It is not possible to achieve positive change without broader interventions – from legislative changes to development of family and gender policies to social campaigns. We would need more reliable statistical indicators enabling a more nuanced access to the analysis of the GPG, and unification and better definition of studied indicators that would allow for reliable comparison in time and the study of additional characteristics. A problem is that Slovakia has no institution for the regular monitoring or for the research and analysis of gender equality.

* Female pay as a percentage of male pay.

National studies on the gender pay gap

National studies on the gender pay gap

Fact-sheet no. 2

Title

Monitoring of Gender Segregation in the Labour Market – Analysis of Transformation Changes

Authors

Margita Barošová

Year of publication

2006

Bibliographic references (bibliogr. odkazy)

Institute for Labour and Family Research, Bratislava

Link to electronic copy of the report

http://www.sspr.gov.sk/texty/File/vyskum/2006/Barosova/Monitoring_rod_segreg.pdf

Coverage (nation-wide, sectors, occupations, regions, etc: please specify in detail)

Nation-wide

Time span (e.g. 1995-2003)

1996, 2001, 2005

Data-set (official, ad-hoc survey or study, etc: please specify in detail)

Official (Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, Trexima, Ltd., Bratislava)

Type of analyses performed on the data-set (methods, e.g. Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition)

Analyses of participation and wage differences between men and women in the labour market.

Main results. Unadjusted gender pay gap (W/M%*): please indicate both levels and trends

GPG (from average monthly gross wage)

1996=74.5 %

2001=74.1 %

2005=71.6 %

The highest GPG:

by economic sector in "industry" (1996=69.4 %, 2005=66.2 %);

by NACE in "financial intermediation" (1996=69.0 %, 2005=63.1 %),

by occupation in "Legislators, senior officials and managers (1996=70.7%, 2005=58.2 %)

Main results. Adjusted gender pay gap (W/M%*): please indicate both levels and trends

Adjusted GPG is not a subject of the publication.

Main results. Please list the individual and/or workplace variables taken into consideration in the adjusted gender pay gap (e.g. education, age, seniority, working hours, occupation, region, sector, firm size, etc.)

Adjusted GPG is not a subject of the publication.

Main results. Which ‘institutional’ or policy variables (qualitative or quantitative) have been taken into account in the study?

Is there evidence (i.e. in multi-national studies incorporating your country, or when observing a national switch in policies such as, for instance, the introduction of sectoral minimum wages) that certain institutional factors or policies have tended to affect (narrow) the gender pay gap?

These factors were not a subject of the study.

Main results. The determinants of the gender pay gap: please provide a brief summary

Impact of the segregation characteristics (share of women in branch of industry, organisation and in the given occupation) seem to be strong mainly in the business area – gender segregation is responsible for approximately 1/3 of the gender wage differences. The results of monitoring show that the growth of the gender segregation index (index of dissimilarity) in 2005 compared with 1996 (in case of economic sectors, branches and major groups of Classification of occupations) was accompanied by growth of the total GPG (an exemption was only the segregation index according to the major groups of Classification of occupations which continued to be stabile, however, its level compared to other two indexes was higher). It appears that the biggest effect upon GPG has the gender segregation in the labour market and gender stereotypes.

Main results. Policy recommendations: please provide a brief summary

Changes in the area of education (including pre-school education), finalisation of the institutional mechanisms in the area of gender equality, involvement of social partners into its solution, monitoring of situation in the area of gender equality, media campaigns, etc.

* Female pay as a percentage of male pay.

1.2. Are there any studies published in the 1999-2009 period, possibly using qualitative methods, which investigate the social processes which contribute to determining the gender pay gap through selection, occupational segregation, discrimination, and the like? Is there any research on the development of pay gaps during the life course? Do pay gaps emerge at the beginning of the individual careers of women or do they become significant at later stages of professional development? Because of different gendered career paths or because pay gaps tend to increase as the professional career advances (i.e. higher gaps at higher organisation positions)?

Studies that would fulfil all the above mentioned attributes have not been implemented in Slovakia. In 2007, the Institute for Labour and Family Research (Inštitút pre výskum práce a rodiny, IVPR) has elaborated a study (Barošová Margita: Participation of Men and Women in Decision Making Positions; http://www.sspr.gov.sk/texty/File/vyskum/2007/Barosova/Barosova.pdf), which includes not only monitoring of participation of women and men in managerial positions on different levels (by ISCO), but also monitoring of the average gross monthly wage, median gross monthly wage and GPG ((W-M)/M %) in 2006. Data on wages are downloaded from official data sources – from database assigned for monitoring of the structure of earnings in the SR (Trexima, Ltd., Bratislava).

While the GPG reached in 2006 in SK as a whole (in this selective sample) the value of 26.9 % in cases of Major Group 1 Legislators, Senior Officials and Managers (as a whole) reached a higher value – 33.8 % (the highest was in the sector of services - 34.6 %, in the sector of Transport, Storage and Communication - 47.2 %, in senior managers with secondary education without graduation - 44.6 % and in the age group of 35-39 years - 41.4 %). Share of bonuses and rewards from the average gross monthly wage was in the Major group l as a whole by men 16.7% and by women 13.5 %.

Concerning the occupation groups, the highest GPG was in the occupation group 121-Directors and Chief Executives - 39.8% (share of bonuses and rewards was by men 17.5 % and by women only 8.2 %). In the business sector was GPG in the occupation group 121-Directors and Chief Executives 31.1 %, and in the non-business sector it was only 9.4 %. In all occupation groups of the Major Group 1 was GPG in disadvantage for women. Generally, it was the highest (high) there where the wages were the highest (high).

Also the results of this study confirmed that there is a significantly lower number of women in managerial positions in Slovakia (in 2006 in the Major Group 1 – 27.9 %), what is reflected also in GPG. That means that the vertical segregation significantly participates in the total GPG.

In 2002, the study Equal Opportunities in the Practice of Remuneration of Men and Women in SK – II phase was elaborated (Margita Barošová, Katarína Gergelová, The Research Institute of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, 2002). The merit of the study is the presentation of results from the empirical survey of wage conditions, monitoring of potential discrimination in remuneration (as well as in education and employment promotion) and attitudes of employees to discrimination in remuneration by gender. The study confirmed existence of gender discrimination in education, employment promotion and remuneration (its most striking findings) in practice of the surveyed enterprises (in the number of 459). Up to 33.6 % women but only 6.6 % men considered their wage, when compared with persons of the opposite sex executing the same or similar work, as lower. 8.6 % of women and only 3 % of men considered themselves for disadvantaged in the area of education in the enterprise when compared with the persons of the opposite sex. In case of the employment promotion, it was 13.7 % of women and 4.2 % of men. Up to 36.3 % of women and only 12 % of men has a feeling of discrimination in remuneration (in the last 3 years).Those results prove that the gender discrimination in remuneration is mainly a matter for women. The most often forms of discrimination in remuneration was considered by the respondents who felt discrimination in remuneration the supplementary forms of remuneration (by women – up to 43.4 % and by men - 35 %).

1.3. Are there any studies in your country on how gender differentials of pay have been affected by the current economic crisis?

No such studies have been implemented.

2. Government initiatives to address the gender pay gap

2.1. In light of the current economic crisis, has the national government taken any steps to assess and monitor the impact of the current economic downturn on gender pay inequalities? If yes, please briefly illustrate them, including the results of such assessment. Has the government started any initiatives to prevent or address the possible widening of the gender pay gap because of the economic downturn?

Such steps were not implemented.

2.2. Please illustrate the major government initiatives to address the gender pay gap put in place since 2005. Since there is extensive legislation on gender equality, interventions are usually of an indirect nature.

Since 2000, the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family SR (Ministerstvo práce, sociálnych vecí a rodiny SR, MPSVR SR) organises the competition "Family Friendly Employer", which includes also a category of equal opportunities for men and women. Since 2008 is this competition called "Family, Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Friendly Employer". MPSVR SR implements at this occasion also training activities and information campaigns for employers.

Monitoring of initiatives aimed at the GPG is not done individually but in connection with other activities linked with gender equality. One of such activities is also a national thematic network for equal opportunities for men and women in the framework of the Community initiative EQUAL. In 2008, MPSVR SR organised a conference which dealt also with the issue of gender segregation in the labour market and gender wage differences. This issue addressed also the Permanent Committee for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities has been established for the parliamentary committee for social affairs and housing.

The Commission for Management and Coordination of Tasks Linked with the Information System on Labour Cost at MPSVR SR functioning on a tripartite basis also deals with monitoring of the GPG. All materials concerning gender equality are negotiated at the tripartite Economic and Social Council of the SR (Hospodárska a sociálna rada SR, HSR SR). On 30 September 2009, the Government SR approved Memorandum on cooperation between the Government SR and Confederation of Trade Unions of the Slovak Republic (Konfederácia odborových zväzov SR, KOZ SR) in enforcement of gender equality. At that day the Government approved also the first Summary report on the situation in gender equality in Slovakia and on activities of the Government Council for Gender Equality, as well as the National Strategy for Gender Equality for 2009-2013.

MPSVR SR established in the framework of its Department of Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities a sub-department for the horizontal priority – Equal opportunities in the Structural funds and in the Cohesion fund. Measures in the framework of the active labour market policy include also measures for support of employees with low wages (in Slovakia women participate in low wages more than men). It is mainly support of employment of longterm unemployed people through implementation of a tax credit for employees with low wages. Another measure is the state benefit for employers and employees for support and retaining of employment of employees with low wages. A next measure is the annual increase of the legal minimum wage. The Act on social services from 2008 supports care of families with children.

2.3. Please illustrate the main initiatives by the government to address the gender pay gap since 2005 in the public sector. Here the government acts as the employer and can intervene more directly, even if often the rules on compensation leave less room for pay differentials.

There do not exist any special programmes. However, there are certain initiatives provided by individual ministries (e.g. training activities).

3. Social partner initiatives to address the gender pay gap

3.1. In light of the current economic crisis, have the social partners, whether unilaterally or jointly, taken any steps to assess and monitor the impact of the current economic downturn on gender pay inequalities? If yes, please briefly illustrate them, including the results of such assessment. Have the social partners started any initiatives to prevent or address the possible widening of the gender pay gap because of the economic downturn?

Joint activities of social partners in this case do not exist. However, KOZ SR published a booklet "Paragraphs in crises", which provides information to members of the trade unions and employees, mainly at the time of crises. It provides a basic overview about concrete situations into which the employees can run at the time of the crises, as well as information about their solutions. However, they do not pay a special attention to observe the principles of gender equality.

3.2. Please indicate whether the gender pay gap has figured prominently on the trade union agenda since 2005. Have the trade unions initiated in this period any specific initiatives to address the gender pay gap? Please illustrate the most important of such initiatives.

In general this is not the case. However, each year a training on gender equality is implemented for the KOZ SR Commission of Equal Opportunities of Men and Women. The training held this year in May organised by MPSVR SR together with the IVPR dealt with implementation of the principle of gender equality at the work place and the topic of GPG was also included. Trexima Ltd. implemented for the Commission a lecture about GPG monitoring. Members of the Commission are representatives of individual trade unions which are associated in KOZ SR, which also initiated Memoranda on cooperation between the Government SR and KOZ SR in the enforcement of gender equality. The Government and KOZ SR asked the employers to join them, however unsucessfully.

KOZ SR tries to enforcethe increase of the minimum wage by 8.1 % for 2010, while the employers representatives represented in the tripartite body ask for a freeze of the minimum wage (due to the economic crisis).

3.3. Please indicate whether the gender pay gap has figured prominently on the employer associations agenda since 2005. Have the main employer associations initiated in this period any specific initiatives to address the gender pay gap? Please illustrate the most important of such initiatives.

According to the relevant employer associations on the national level at present there are not implemented any initiatives aimed at the issue of the GPG.

3.4. Please indicate whether multi-employer collective bargaining has contributed to address the gender pay gap since 2005. Has multi-employer collective bargaining introduced specific clauses or instruments to address the gender pay gap? Please illustrate the most important of such clauses or instruments.

According to the employers and trade union representatives, special provisions for decrease of the GPG are not included in the sectoral collective agreements.

3.5. Please indicate whether single-employer collective bargaining and social dialogue practices at company level have contributed to address the gender pay gap since 2005. Has single-employer collective bargaining introduced specific clauses or instruments to address the gender pay gap at company level? Please illustrate the most important of such clauses or instruments.

According to the employers and trade union representatives, at present the questions of gender equality are not tackled during collective bargaining. A certain initiative aimed at elimination of gender stereotypes is being done by the Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Slovenská obchodná a priemyselná komora, SOPK), which is involved in the initiative of the European Commission devoted mainly to SMEs for fight against the gender stereotype in the world of labour.

3.6. Has the issue of the gender pay gap been particularly important in certain sectors? If yes, please indicate the sectors involved (up to three), the main reasons of such relevance and its most significant expressions and achievements (up to three for each sector - unilateral actions by employers or unions, joint initiatives, collective bargaining).

At the level of sector this issue is not in the centre of attention.

4. Good practices

4.1. Since 2005, have there been any major initiatives to identify, collect and disseminate good practices on equal pay or more generally on gender equality in employment?

No activities aimed at identification, collection and dissemination of examples of good practice in the area of GPG are in general realised. The only one exception is collecting of examples of good practice in the framework of the competition Family, Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Friendly Employer organised by MPSVR SR. (See 2.2.)

5. Commentary

5.1. Please provide your own assessment and comments on the initiatives to address the gender pay gap covered by this comparative study, including any further information that you consider important to illustrate the state-of-play of pay equity in your country.

The project ESF No. 2004/2.2/023 – Unique system for monitoring of the gender wage discrimination (Trexima, Ltd, Bratislava, http://www.zenymuzi.sk) dealt with the GPG. It also deals with possibilities of assessment of the quantitative impact of different factors upon the level of GPG on the national level. The issue of the GPG and opinions of women (aged 45+) upon their work and remuneration are presented in the publication of Zora Bútorová et.al.. "He and she in Slovakia. Focused upon gender and age", which was one of the outputs of the project Plus for women 45 + of the Community initiative EQUAL No. 95/04-I/33-4.1 financed from ESF (http://www.ivo.sk/buxus/docs//Plus_pre_zeny_45/Ona_a_on.pdf and http://www.ivo.sk/buxus/docs//publikacie/subory/She_and_He.pdf ).

Activities of the Government in the area of gender equality are not adequately reflected among employers associations. These justify it by the existence of the economic crises, but there exist some reserves also on the side of the Government. In Slovakia, there have not been established the so called focal points at individual ministries which would deal with implementation of gender equality issues - one exception being the Ministry of Education SR (Ministerstvo školstva SR, MŠ SR). Control mechanism also have to improve. The biggest obstacle for equal remuneration (and at the labour market in general) are the still existing gender stereotypes (at the labour market, in the area of education including pre-school education) while the media pays only little attention to this issue.

Margita Barošová, Institute for Labour and Family Research

Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Add new comment