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New EU directive aims to close gender pay gaps with mandatory reporting

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UK leads the way with maternity pay

Data from EDGE Certified Foundation provides an overview of the legislative landscape relating to Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DE&I) in certain countries, shedding light on the progress made as well as pinpointing areas to be improved.

EDGE Certified Foundation has published the EquiNations DE&I legislative overview of the top 20 countries – based on the highest number of current EDGE Certifications; including the UK, USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada and China.

The EquiNations research shows that the vast majority of the 20 researched countries have implemented legislation to safeguard against discrimination in employment based on gender, race/ethnicity, nationality, LGBTQ+ identity, age, or working with a disability.

Certain jurisdictions have progressed beyond the legislative recognition of the importance of eradicating all kinds of discrimination in the workplace, and have taken a proactive approach by implementing, for example, hiring quotas for people with disabilities and workplace accessibility requirements, by setting paid maternity and paternity leave above the recommended level of the International Labor Organization (ILO), or by mandating recurrent pay gap reporting, aiming to manage and eventually close the gender pay gap.

Key findings from the EquiNations research cite that the majority of countries examined have implemented hiring quotas for individuals with disabilities, with exceptions including the US, UK, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, and Australia.​

Most countries analysed have legislation against LGBTQ+ employment discrimination already in place, but less than half of the countries have implemented legislation to ensure gender quotas on company boards.​

The UK leads the way with the highest amount of paid maternity leave (in weeks), with 39, while the USA has the lowest by offering no paid maternity leave. Germany has the highest employment rate for individuals aged 55-64, standing at 73.69%. Whereas, Romania has the lowest rate at 48.4%.​

The EDGE Certified organisations within these nations are setting important benchmarks within their national contexts, by committing to measure where they are in their DE&I journey and to progress on their path to workplace gender and intersectional equity. Such organisations can serve to inspire other employers within their jurisdictions to follow suit by adopting best practices, engaging with their employees and stakeholders, and seeking out the diverse perspectives and experiences that are indispensable for achieving true inclusivity.

 Aniela Unguresan, Founder of EDGE Certified Foundation, said: “Organisations looking to adopt DE&I policies and practices for their workplaces need to understand how local legislation and regulation impacts the workplace, and where there may be areas to go beyond regulation to support long-term sustainable value creation in the DE&I area. We can see that all the countries in the top 20 list by number of current EDGE Certifications have made great progress in promoting DE&I nationally, by enacting certain anti-discrimination laws and labour protections.”


Lorien MPU