eg-check.de is a tool-box for a gender-oriented analysis of the wage structure on the basis of the legal equal pay principles "equal pay for equal work or work of equal value". It is in strict accordance to the German and European statutory provisions and case law. The tool-box was developed in 2010 by two researchers – Dr. Karin Tondorf and Dr. Andrea Jochmann-Döll – with financial support of the union-related Hans Böckler foundation (Hans Böckler Stiftung). With this tool-box, employers, employee representatives, collective bargaining parties and – as far as data is provided – employees themselves can check pay regulations and pay practices in order to identify possible direct and indirect pay discrimination. The following pay components can be examined:
- basic pay (factor-based)
- pay levels (experience-based)
- performance pay
- overtime pay
- hardship allowances.
For each of these pay components eg-check.de provides a statistical scheme ("Statistik") that proposes a certain scheme of data-collection which gives hints on potential discrimination. In addition, for each pay component there is a regulation-check ("Regelungs-Check") with which discriminatory regulations in collective agreements (either at company level or at sector level) can be identified. A third set of instruments is called pairwise comparisons ("Paarvergleiche"). With these, one woman respectively a female-dominated job and one man respectively a male-dominated job can be compared in particular at individual level. The whole tool-box comprises of 16 single tools that can be chosen and combined individually according to the aim and scope of the equal pay check programme to be carried out. They are shown in figure 1.
One of the pairwise comparisons turned out to be of specific importance: the pairwise comparison for determining the value of jobs. In principle, this is a discrimination-free job evaluation scheme comprising 19 factors in four areas (knowledge, psycho-social demands, responsibilities and physical demands), that enable to determine the value of a job free of discrimination. It is based on other schemes like the Swiss Abakaba (Analytische Bewertung von Arbeitstätigkeiten nach Katz und Baitsch), the Swedish System by Anita Harriman and Carin Holm, the British job evaluation schemes developed by the National Joint Commission and the recommendations of the International Labour Office (ILO). The job factors and areas used for job evaluation in the pairwise comparison for determining the value of jobs are presented in figure 2.
Figure 2: Factors used for determining the value of jobs by the pairwise comparison of eg-check.de
|1. Knowledge||3. Responsibilities|
1.1 Specialized knowledge and skills
1.2 Specialized additional qualifications
1.3 Multidisciplinary knowledge and skills
1.4 Required practical specialized experience
1.5 Planning and organizing
1.6 Management of work interruptions
1.7 Continuous attention and concentration
3.1 Responsibility for money and goods
3.2 Responsibility for the physical and psychological health and data security
3.3 Responsibility for the work of others and leadership
3.4 Responsibility for the environment
|2. Psycho-social demands||4. Physical demands|
2.1 Communicative skills
2.2 Cooperative skills
2.3 Empathy and power of persuasion
2.4 Loading psycho-social conditions
4.1 Physical strength
4.2 Demands on body posture, body movements and sensory organs
4.3 Loading working-time conditions
4.4 Loading working conditions
The result of the pairwise comparison is the determination of the value of two jobs, one female-dominated, one male-dominated. The job values are expressed by a number of points and can therefore very easily be compared with each other and with the actual earnings in the two jobs. By that it can be easily seen if two jobs of women and men which are of equal value are paid equally.
Since 2010 eg-check.de has been applied by a number of companies, unions, in equal pay projects, research projects, workshops and in training events. The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency ("Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes") supports the application of eg-check.de by hosting the homepage and supporting the actualization of eg-check.de, by financing a limited number of company projects each year and by awarding a certificate for having finished a project to check equal pay (not for a positive result!).
With eg-check.de several discriminatory regulations of collective agreements and pay practices could be identified. The direct impact of these findings is nevertheless quite small (even at company level), since the German statutory provisions on Equal Pay don't require a direct reaction to the retrieved discriminating factors and don't require checks of collective bargaining agreements on sectoral level (in 2019). Therefore, up to now, the benefit of eg-check.de lies in the increasing awareness of the legal principle of equal pay for equal work or for work of equal value, the potential of indirect discrimination by collective agreements and the disclosure of ways to stop the undervaluation of female-dominated jobs through job evaluation schemes which have no gender bias.
Further information (in German): www.eg-check.de and www.antidiskriminierungsstelle.de