Copenhagen, (Business News Report)|| Denmark’s outdated labor laws, which leave public sector employees vulnerable to wage capping, and unequal pay, whilst preventing female employees from receiving the same pay as their male counterparts, are an example for gender pay gap, according to a research published by ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies.
The research referred this to the horizontal segregation taking place in the market where women and men occupy different professions, as most women have taken employment in the public sector whilst male employees will dominate the private sector regardless of education.
This trend has created the gender pay gap because the public sector usually pays less than the private sector, according to the research.
The research indicated that this problem has been further exacerbated with emergence of COVID-19 pandemic, as the treatment of nurses and healthcare workers have worsened with working hours and employment pressure was unprecedented.
However, the Danish government did not alleviate this pressure, and nurses receive wages that account for 10 to 20% less than male-dominated positions, the research said.
The research said that the Danish government decided to sacrifice workers’ rights and gender equity, and chose to place public sector employees on a wage scale.
Although the wage scale-built salary increases of 2.75% for the lowest salary bracket and a 5.5% increase for the highest-earning brackets, public sectors dominated by female employees usually fell at the lowest-earning bracket, and this limited bracket of salary increases has left female-dominated jobs at a disadvantage, the research added.
Public Servant Reform Act of 1969
The research said that concerns over the gender pay gap in Denmark brought the Public Servant Reform Act of 1969 into law in the hope of paving the way for a more equal labor market.
To modernize the employment process at the time, this act had allocated employment sectors that are commonly dominated by female employees, such as nurse work, primary education, and infant care, to lower wages than jobs that may have been seen as more male-dominated such as firemen, police work or higher education, the research said.
However, with over 53 years of this law in place, its modernizing effect is no longer applicable due to the evolving nature of the global labor market and international labor laws. Thus, this modernizing purpose can no longer be used as a justification for the maintenance of the law, the research said.
The research recommended that the undervaluation of women in Denmark’s public sector should be addressed with a series of policy reforms including the review of outdated laws such as the Public Servant Reform Act of 1969.
Denmark’s wage scale should be reviewed to allow a thorough evaluation of an employee’s educational background rather than capping employees with different capabilities at the same wage bracket, the research also recommended.