Professional equality index: what are the new obligations for companies?

Last March, the French Ministry of Labor published the results of the Index de l'égalité professionnelle 2022. Although the overall score is improving, several indicators are still lagging behind. Companies with a score below 85 points must take action by September and set targets for progress. Find out what the new obligations are.

Reducing inequalities between men and women

Created by the 2018 law "for the freedom to choose one's professional future", theProfessional Equality Index also known as the "Pénicaud Index" aims to measure pay inequalities in companies with at least 50 employees.

It is based on the following five criteria:

  • Gender pay gap (40 points)
  • Gap in annual increases (20 points)
  • The promotion gap (15 points)
  • Increases on return from maternity leave (15 points)
  • Share of women in the company's 10 highest earners (10 points)

By March 1st each year, companies are required to publish the results they have achieved on their website, or bring them to the attention of employees by any other means, and to communicate details of the various indicators to the Social Economic Committee (CSE) and the Labor Inspectorate (Dreets).

Slight improvement in 2022

By March 7, 2022, almost 60% of companies had published their score, with an average of 86 points, one point higher than the previous year. This year, the Ministry of Labor notes that 92% of companies scored 75 points or more out of 100. However, 156 have scored below this threshold for 3 or 4 years, and incur a financial penalty of up to 1% of payroll.

So, even if the figures are slightly up on last year, two indicators remain problematic:

  • return from maternity leave (more than 10% of companies used 0 for this indicator)
  • parity in the top 10 salaries (more than a third of companies score 0 on this indicator for having less than 2 women out of 10 in the top 10)

New publication obligations to come

New obligations linked to the publication of the Professional Equality Index will apply in 2022. Firstly, companies will have to publish the corrective measures adopted when the score obtained is less than 75 points out of 100. Secondly, they will have to set and publish improvement targets for each criterion where the maximum number of points has not been reached, or where the score is less than 85 points.

These new measures should help accelerate progress by companies in the field of gender equality. The Ministry of Labor specifies that players have until September 1, 2022 to implement them.