Report on Convention no 100 concerning equal remuneration, 1951

Published under: Bondevik's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

NORWAY

R E P O R T

for the period ending 31 May 2004, in accordance with article 22 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation, from the Government of Norway, on the measures taken to give effect to the provisions of the

Convention no 100 concerning equal remuneration, 1951

ratification of which was registered on 24 September 1959.

I

Reference is made to previous report.

II

Direct request

  1. The Committee asks the Government to provide information in its next report on the action taken to promote women to positions of greater responsibility, and statistical information on remuneration disaggregated by sex.

Balanced gender representation on company boards

Parliament has adopted a law on gender balance to be imposed on public limited companies. Companies will be required to increase the number of women on their corporate boards to 40 percent. An estimated 600 companies would be affected by this regulation. The gender quota will be imposed in all publicly-owned enterprises (state-owned limited liability and public limited companies, state-owned enterprises, companies incorporated by special legislation and inter-municipal companies) and all public limited companies in the private sector.

The rules applying to state-owned companies entered into force 1 January 2004. Today these company board members comprise of more than 40 percent of each sex .

The rules applying to public limited companies will not come into effect if the desired gender representation is achieved voluntarily in the course of 2005. The decision will be based on statistics provided by the Register of Business Enterprises. At the beginning of this year, 8.4 percent of the members of these companies were female.

At the same time, the Norwegian government has taken an initiative for a cooperation agreement with the private sector with the aim of increasing female representation on the boards of public stock companies, on a voluntary basis. A website has also been established where women may register for recruitment to leading positions and boards.

No rules have been proposed for privately-owned limited liability companies, as most of these companies in Norway are small family enterprises and the owners are themselves members of the board. Public limited companies normally have a broader spread of shares and less personal involvement in management.

Women executives in central and local government

The Norwegian government has set itself the goal to ensure by 2006 that no less than 40 percent of both sexes are represented in executive positions in government administration. 1997 saw the launch of a project entitled, “Women, quality and competence in government administration”, aimed at increasing the proportion of women from 22 to 30 percent by the end of 2001. By the close of the project, the proportion of women had reached almost 28 percent. In 2004, the proportion of women had risen to 34 percent, and if developments progress at the same pace, it may be quite possible to reach the objective by 2006. In order to secure this positive trend, several measures have been implemented. The act orders all undertakings to report on their gender equality activities and annual reviews are drawn up of the gender distribution in executive posts in government. Other measures count the establishment of a mentor programme, a network for women mid-level executives and trials involving greater mobility among executives, and special focus has also been placed on how government administration recruits its executives.

Even though women perform most of the services provided by local government, especially in the field of health care and social welfare, the female proportion of executives in local government continues to remain low. Only 12 percent of chief municipal administrative officers are women. A project called “Breakthrough” aims to mobilise new female candidates for higher administrative positions and is contributing to new knowledge and increased awareness of gender and senior executives in the municipal sector. This commitment is founded on the overriding objective of reinforcing the development of good chief municipal administration by utilising the experiences and resources of both sexes.

Pay trends

Sector

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

% women employed

Manufacturing

89

88,4

89

90,1

23

Wholesale and retail sale

84,5

85,4

86,2

86,4

41

Commercial and saving banks

75,6

75,8

76,2

76

75,4

Central government employees

89

89,1

89,1

89

88,9

37

Public maintained schools

93,9

94

94,2

95

95,5

56

Local government employees

88

87,6

86,9

90,6

75

Source: The Technical reporting Committee on the Income Settlement, 2004

  1. The Committee asks the Government to provide results of the project on a three years job evaluation project

The new tool has proved efficient and useful in evaluating the value of different jobs in the workplace. The project has revealed gender related wage gaps in 9 of the 15 companies and the next step of the project will for the companies be to develop local actions plans with the aim to close this discriminatory pay gap.

  1. 4. The Committee asks the Government to provide a copy og the conclusions of two projects.

The Nordic project on statistics has been delayed, and is expected to be funded from 2005.

The final report of the European project is enclosed:

The Norwegian centre for gender equality and Institute of Social research: Towards a Closing of the gender Pay gap . A comparative study of three occupations in six European countries. Oslo 2002, with support from the European Commission.

This project analyse the effect of local bargaining and individual pay arrangements on equal pay.

5. The Committee requests the Government to provide a copy of an action plan on equal pay adopted by the social partners.

The main social partners have mainstreamed the work on equal pay into their ordinary work and policies on wage bargaining and agreements, and no new action plans have been developed.

6. The Committee requests the Government to provide information on the right to issue opinions respecting the lawfulness of wage agreements and copies of judicial rulings.

The Review Board for gender Equality has not made use of this new possibility, adopted in 2002.

Attached are copies of 3 judicial rulings in cases concerning equal pay in 2003 and 2004. The papers (in Norwegian) show that the remuneration was not lawful and in breach of the Gender Equality Act.

III – V

Reference is made to previous report.

VI

The present report will be communicated to the Social Partners in Norway.

Oslo, September 2004