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A Study on Gender Wage Discrimination─Focus on Equal Pay for Equal Work and Work of Equal Value

A Study on Gender Wage Discrimination─Focus on Equal Pay for Equal Work and Work of Equal Value
—Yu-Fan Chiu, School of Law, National Chiao Tung University

In Taiwan, the principle of gender equality in wage such as article 25 of the Labor Standards has been implemented for several years. The Act of Gender Equality in Employment enforced from 2002 further prohibit related gender wage discrimination. However, there is still a considerable gender pay gap in Taiwan society. In 2012, the Ministry of Labor at first time declared “equal pay day” of Taiwan as March, 2nd, meaning that women have to work for additional 64 days in a year in order to gain the same wage as men. Until 2017, the equal pay day only progressed to February 21st. The fact indicates that the gender wage discrimination is still a substantial issue with regard to gender equality in employment. In addition to the gender wage gap, the wage gap between domestic and foreign workers is also huge. According to the foreign labor application and management survey by the Ministry of Labor in 2018, the average monthly wage of foreign industrial workers in 2017 is NT$21,797 which is lower than Taiwanese laborers' minimum monthly wage of NT$22,000 in the same year while foreign nursing workers are not protected under Taiwan's Labor Standards Act and their average monthly wage is only NT$20,073. In fact, as shown in the research by the World Economic Forum, the wage of women is lower than men in the same position around the world, and blue-collar foreign labors also get lower wage than domestic labors. Given this situation, many countries continue to make breakthroughs in promoting the policy of equal pay for equal work and equal pay for work of equal value. Lately, Germany promulgated Remuneration Transparency Act in 2017, allowing the pay structure of workplace to become more transparent and the recognition in “equal pay for equal work” as well as “equal pay for work of equal value” becomes possible and stable. Iceland also declared the Equal Pay Act in 2018. Companies or governmental bodies with more than 25 employees are obligated to enforce gender equality in pay for equal work and has to be certified by the government. Apart from the declaration of the principle of wage equality, the enforcement of the laws in Germany and Iceland realizes gender equality in pay for equal work and for work of equal value. Therefore, by referring to foreign legislative examples, this project intends to provide appropriate policy recommendations on promoting wage equality, and clarify the burden of proof on requirements of equal pay for equal work and equal pay for equal value in litigation in Taiwan so as to assist judicial practitioners establishing a set of fair and stable rules which is expected to provide incentives to encourage those who are discriminated to use the judicial relief system, improving the unequal relations in the domestic labor market and promoting the equality of work in reality.

Keywords: Wage Discrimination, Equal pay for equal work, Equal pay for work of equal value, Gender Pay Gap, Equal Pay Act in Iceland, Remuneration Transparency Act in Germany, Act of Gender Equality in Employment, Reversal of the burden of proof