07 Mar 2019

EU Gender Equality agency is not so equal when it comes to salaries 

A Lithuanian court has ruled that EIGE is treating its employees unfairly.

Gea Alessi
Gea Alessi NewsMavens, Europe
EU Gender Equality agency is not so equal when it comes to salaries  - NewsMavens
EIGE press conference. EIGE.com

Why this story matters:

This February, the Lithuanian court ruled against the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). Five former staff members accused the institute of using the fact that they were hired by a contractor and given the status of "temporary employees" to pay them less than normal EU employees. In fact, despite being employed for up to three years, their remuneration -- around €650 after tax -- was even lower than that of trainees. 

They had initially filed a court case against EIGE’s contractor, Manpower, arguing that the compensation they were given was discriminatory. In the EU, standards exist when it comes to compensating temporary workers, who have to be paid equally for performing equal work.  

Both the EIGE and its contractor declared that those in non-permanent positions performed very different tasks from full-time staff. Manpower is considering an appeal. 

Details from the story:

  • EIGE was involved as a "third party" in the case, meaning it would be the one paying damages if the contractor refused to do so.
  • Temporary employees' salaries were cut several times and with little notice. They also did not benefit from private healthcare and overtime compensation, like permanent employees did
  • It’s not the first time that the agency has been involved in a scandal: last year, EIGE was at the center of a Politico investigation due to several cases of sexual harassment
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