Project “Actions for reducing the gender pay gap”
Cyprus

Department of Labour Relations  
Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance

The Department of Labour Relations is implementing the Project “Actions for reducing the gender pay gap”, which is co-financed by the European Social Fund. The budget of the Project is 3 million Euros. The implementation of the Project started in July 2010 and will be concluded by the end of 2015.

The Project consists of a broad mix of measures, aiming in combating the root causes that create and sustain the gender pay gap. The measures that will be undertaken involve various social groups such as:

  • Officers and Inspectors of equal pay and equal treatment in employment legislation.
  • Career advice professionals
  • Primary and secondary education teachers
  • Parents
  • Enterprises
  • Social partners
  • Society in general

The different actions of the Project, which are realized through public contracts, are:

Improvement of inspection mechanisms for Equal Pay legislation (Equal Pay between Men and Women for the Same Work or for Work to which Equal Value is attributed Law 2002 – 2009).

This action includes theoretical as well as on-the-job training of Officers and Inspectors of the Department of Labour Relations (DLR) and the Department of Labour, of the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, as well as Officers of the Ombudsman Office, regarding the enforcement of equal pay and equal treatment in employment legislation. The training has started in October 2012. Labour Relations Officers and Inspectors of the DLR will also participate in study visits to other EU Member States, in order to familiarize their selves with procedures and techniques used by other inspection mechanisms.

Study for increasing the use of parental leave through the adoption of pay benefits.

The aim of the study was to explore ways for increasing the use of parental leave by both parents in Cyprus through the salary compensation of eligible recipients, and to promote the balanced use of this right by both men and women, while securing employability of women and thus contributing to the alleviation of the gender pay gap.

Publicity

The Publicity Consultant is responsible for promoting the implementation of the Project activities and for raising public awareness about the problem of the gender pay gap in Cyprus. The Publicity Consultant is expected to use all appropriate and necessary means and procedures to promote the Project, as well as the implementation of its specific actions.

The Publicity Consultant has created a publicity plan, the logos, the website of the project and has organized the opening ceremony of the Project in January 2012. The launching campaign of the Project has also taken place in May 2012, with TV, radio, newspaper and magazine advertisements. Moreover, the Publicity Consultant is responsible for the preparation of posters and promotional gifts, other events and ceremonies, and the overall advertising campaign.

Establishment of a Gender Equality Certification Body

The aim of the action is the establishment of a Gender Equality Certification Body which will evaluate enterprises as regards the incorporation, or the implementation of best practices relating to equal treatment and/or equal pay principles in their working environment. The Certification body will provide two kinds of certifications: one for “Equality Employer”, and one for implementing a “Good Practice relating to equal treatment and/or equal pay”.

The establishment of the Certification Body is expected to take place in the first semester of 2013, and the first certification round will take place in fall 2013. During the implementation of the Project a Certification Ceremony will be organised every year (in 2013, 2014 and 2015), during the second semester of every year.

Consultants supporting enterprises to be certified

Various consultants, who will be specially trained for this purpose, will provide consultation to enterprises interested to be certified by the abovementioned Gender Equality Certification Body.

Tripartite Conference on the exchange of best practices regarding equal pay between member states of the EU.

A Tripartite Conference was organized on the 29th and 30th of October 2012 (during the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU) for the exchange of good practices between all the member states, on how to reduce the gender pay gap. The participants were governmental officials, trade unions and employer organizations representatives.

Activities in the Education sector for eliminating occupational and sectoral segregation by gender.

This action comprises of measures for eliminating occupational and sectoral segregation by gender, which include interventions in education issues, such as specialised training programmes for careers advice professionals as well as for 10,000 primary and secondary education teachers. It also includes information activities for parents, regarding their children’s education and occupation choices.

Guide, manual, job evaluation tools and consultation services towards employers.

This action includes training of managerial staff of enterprises on the use of codes of practice regarding the enforcement of equal pay, as well as on the use of job evaluation tools.

Guide for the guiding trade-union members, for promoting equal pay during collective bargaining and training members of professional associations and members of trade unions and employers associations.

This action includes training programmes for trade unions and employers associations, and also development of manuals, guides, self-assessment tools, codes of practice and job evaluation tools for managers/human resource professionals.

Examination of collective agreements

This action includes examination of all collective agreements in Cyprus for the identification of discrimination regarding pay.

Printing of manuals, guides, educational material and information material.

This action includes the printing of manuals, guides, educational material and information material relating to the rest of the actions of the Project.

Further research and documentation related to gender pay gap

This action includes studies about:

  • positive discrimination for women in employment
  • preconditions and implementation methods for compulsory checks and report submissions by enterprises, regarding equal treatment between men women.
  • specialized issues related to gender pay gap.