The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have published a new directive dealing with equal treatment between men and women in the workplace.
The new directive (2006/54), which consolidates seven of the existing Equal Treatment Directives, is an attempt by Europe to clarify and simplify the legislation. It brings together, in a single piece of legislation, all the key provisions governing discrimination, equal pay and occupational social security.
The directive has also been drafted to reflect some of the most significant European Court of Justice decisions over the past 30 years in an attempt to further clarify the legislation in this area.
Employers should have nothing to fear from this new legislation. It does not create any new obligations, but merely clarifies existing ones.
The new directive came into force on 15 August 2006 and must be implemented by member states by 15 August 2008.