Under the current Equal Opportunities Code, employers with 100 or more employees are required to submit a report every two years on the gender makeup of their workforce as well as male and female employee duties, training and careers, dismissal, pay and social security treatment. A bill recently approved by the Senate aims to expand the scope of this report to include concrete measures adopted by companies to reduce the gender gap and would extend the requirement to employers with 51 or more employees. The bill would also broaden the definition of discrimination.
The main provisions of the bill, which would take effect on January 1, 2022, are as follows:
In 2020, Italy ranked 14th in the European Union (EU) Gender Equality Index, with a score of 63.5 points out of 100, 4.4 points below the EU average; Italy was one of 14 countries warned by the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) about noncompliance with the right to equal pay and equal opportunities. One of the barriers identified by the ECSR was the lack of pay transparency in the labor market.
If the bill becomes law, as expected, a significant number of employers that were previously not required to submit gender equality reports will have to comply with the new provisions, while employers that already draw up these reports will have to expand them in line with the new requirements. Gender equality certificates will also present a (modest) cost-saving opportunity for employers.