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  1. ,EU and Gender Equality’Seminar on Best Practice of European Support to Women EntrepreneurshipPetra Schott European Commission, October

  2. Directives IGender Acquis • Directive 79/7/EEC on equal treatment in social security • Directive 86/613/EEC on equal treatment for self-employed • Directive 92/85/EEC on protection of pregnant workers and maternity leave provisions (14 weeks minimum + sick leave pay)

  3. Directives II • Directive 96/34/EC on parental leave (3 months for each parent, no payment, return to job clause) • Directive 2004/113/EC equal treatment in the access to and supply of goods and services (first Directive dealing with equal treatment outside employment): equal treatment in every day contracts and situations (not media and advertising, not education), gender specific actuarial factors in insurances might be kept up under certain conditions • Directive 2006/54/EC (recast) reformulating 4 Directives (75/117/EEC on equal pay, 76/207/EEC on equal treatment in access to employment etc., amended by Directive 2002/73/EC; 86/378/EEC on equal treatment in occupational social security schemes, amended by Directive 96/97/EC; and 97/80 on the shifting of the burden of proof) which have been repealed with effect from August 2009 (Link to the Directives on our website:

  4. Material Scope I The Directives prohibit discrimination as regards: • Access to employment, self-employment, vocational guidance and training • employment and working conditions, including dismissals and pay • membership in organisations • occupational social security and statutory social security (the latter covering employed and self-employed), the principle of equality of treatment applies only partly) • Access to/supply with goods and services

  5. Concept of discrimination • Direct discrimination: Where one person is treated less favorably than another is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation on grounds of sex • Indirect discrimination:Where an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice would put persons of one sex at a particular disadvantage compared with other people • Harassment/Sexual harassment: When an unwanted conduct/of a sexual nature related to the sex of a person occurs with the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment • Instruction to discriminateis also treated as discrimination

  6. Specialised Bodies(Art 20 Directive 2006/54/EC) The Directive requires Creation of a national body/equality body for the promotion of equal treatment for gender equality with the following tasks: • Independent assistance to victims • Independent surveys • Independent reports and recommendations

  7. Infringement procedure If Member States do not comply with EU-Law, the Commission starts with infringement procedures: 1. Letter of Formal Notice 2. Reasoned Opinion 3. Referral to European Court of Justice (ECJ) Most of the cases at the ECJ arrive there directly from Member States’ Courts asking for preliminary rulings, Art 234 EC Treaty

  8. ECJ case law Gender Equality I Problem: pregnancy and maternity • Judgment of 14.7.1994, case C-32/93, Webb, (no dismissal of an employee replacing another pregnant employee on grounds of pregnancy) • Judgment of 2.3.2000, C-207/98, Mahlburg, (no refusal of an application of a pregnant women on the grounds that a pregant women is not allowed to this job) • Jugdment of 27.2.2003,C-320/01, Wiebke Busch, (a woman may, in the context of an application for a job, hide her pregnancy)

  9. ECJ case law Gender Equality II Problem: indirect discrimination • Judgment of 13.7.1989,C-171/88, Rinner-Kühn, (no exception from sick-pay for woman working only for few hours) • Judgment of 7.3.1996, case C-278/93, Freers and Speckmann, (reimbursement for part-time workers participating in a one day training must be compensated on basis of a full day’s work (not only part-time))

  10. Further projects as regards the Gender-Acquis • Further work on the gender pay-gap (for more information: • Proposal to amend maternity protection (documents under: • Proposoal to amend the directive on self-employed and helping spouses (link: • Proposal to amend parental leave (

  11. EU Policy for gender equality Is achieved through ‘Positive actions’ and ‘gender mainstreaming’: Positive actions = measures directly aimed at supporting equality through: • Legislation/administrative measures/targeted projects and • Financial support Gendermainstreaming= Integrating a gender perspective in all policies through: • Roadmap for gender equality (one of the priorities being: Equal participation in decision making) • Employment Strategy • Structural funds, PROGRESS programme. • Statistics, indicators, good practice examples

  12. Improving governance for gender equality • Involves partnerships between institutions, social partners and NGOs • The European Pact for Gender Equality (March 2006) demonstrates the commitment to gender equality at the highest political level • European Institute for Gender Equality: Regulation adopted 20 December 2006 (Seat in Vilnius (Lithuania); 2007-2013 budget 52.2 million Euros; will be composed of Management Board, Forum of Experts and Director

  13. Conclusion • The gender acquis and gender equality policies are further developping and are an important field of action for the Commission • The Commission will not hesitate to take the action necessary to ensure full and correct transposition Thank you for your attention!