Unawareness of Equal Pay Rights and Discrimination Prevails Among Citizens

The gender pay gap in Croatia is a pressing issue that affects all segments of the workforce. According to recent data from the State Statistical Office, the average gross annual salary for men in Croatia was 1,428 euros, while women earned an average of 1,329 euros. This translates into a gender pay gap of 6.9%, with women earning an average of 1,189 euros less than their male counterparts for equal work or work of equal value on an annual basis.

While Croatia has made progress in reducing the gender pay gap compared to other European countries, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on this trend. After the pandemic’s economic effects subsided, the wage gap widened once again. The most significant gaps in wages can be found in the financial services and insurance industries (26%), healthcare and social welfare sectors (24%), and wholesale and retail trade (about 18%).

Despite receiving relatively few complaints about discrimination related to equal pay, Kristijan Kevešević, deputy ombudsman for gender equality, warns that this should not be taken as an indicator that such discrimination does not exist in society. It is essential to ensure that employers comply with their legal obligation to pay equal wages for equal work or work of equal value to both male and female employees. To facilitate this process, it is crucial to specify the data sets that employers must submit when workers request information about their salaries.

The EU Directive on Salary Transparency, which took effect in June 2021, aims to improve the situation by requiring companies to publish data on wages and measures taken if the gender pay gap exceeds five percent. Member states are required to establish effective sanctions against employers who violate these rules, including fines. Employers with over 150 employees must submit this information by June 2027, while those with over 100 employees have until June 7th, 2031.

It is crucial to note that victims of this discrimination have a right to compensation for damages under Croatian law. Moreover, the gender pay gap also leads to a pension gap between men and women. The average pension for men was €428 last year compared to €380 for women – resulting in a difference of €48 per month or €584 per year – making it clear that this disparity needs immediate attention and action from both employers and policymakers alike.

In conclusion, addressing the gender pay gap requires collective effort from all stakeholders involved – governments need strong policies; employers need transparency; workers need education; society needs awareness campaigns – but ultimately change will only come when everyone works together towards building a fairer future for all genders.

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