Equal work for equal pay is now law but what exactly does this mean for employers?
On 25 August 2020, Federal Law No. 06 of 2020 was issued which mandated equal pay for women in the private sector; this important legislation became effective on 25 September 2020. The UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan stated that:
One of the misconceptions surrounding equal work for equal pay is that it only relates to the same job- so if a male and female are both Creditor Clerks, with similar experience, they should be paid the same. Yes, but what if one is a Creditors Clerk and the other is Debtors Clerk. Are both these two jobs the same? Are they of equal value? Are they substantially the same?
This gender-based legislation is not unique to the UAE and over the years, many other countries have made it illegal to pay women less than men for comparable work- from Russia to the EU to Rwanda to South Africa- employers are legally required to compensate genders’ equally.
Given that the UAE President announced that “the procedures, controls and standards necessary for evaluating work of equal value…” are still to be announced, we will use our experience in other countries to provide employers with some guidelines and processes which should be implemented: