Knowing what your fellow coworkers make has always been a taboo topic, but for workers in Germany, a new law has gone into effect that will publicly open up some of this data for the first time with the hope that it will drive companies to close the gender gap that continues to be an issue for women workers.
German lawmakers approved the new legislation that requires businesses with more than 200 employees to publish salary data showing its employees just how equal, or unequal, pay is between male and female workers in comparable positions. Companies that exceed 500 employees will be required to publicly provide regular updates to ensure employees that the business is following established equal pay laws.
Manuela Schweig, Germany’s Women’s Affairs Minsister, called the new rule “a real breakthrough” and that she hopes it will “break the taboo that you don’t talk about money”.
A 2015 study revealed that female workers on average earn 21 percent less than their male coworkers, falling well below the 16.5 percent European average.