Gender equality index

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Workplace Gender Equality: French Decree 2021-265 of 10 March 2021


❖The Decree amends Article D. 1142-4 of the French Labour Code and requires all companies subject to the obligation to calculate the gender equality index to publish their scores, as well as that for each of the indicators every year, before 1st March.

This information must be displayed in a clearly visible and legible manner on the company’s website until the publication of the next index. If there is no website, then it must be communicated to the workforce by any other means.

Companies have however been granted extra time to get ready for the full implementation. The deadlines are:

• until 1st May 2021 to communicate the overall score in a “clearly visible and legible manner”;

• until 1st June 2021 to communicate the results for each indicator.

❖It requires companies with fewer than 50 employees having received open credits under the recovery plan, with an overall score of less than 75/100, to set and publish improvement targets, as well as corrective and catch-up measures.

These are published on the company’s website, if there is one, on the same page as the result level and the results for each indicator. These can be viewed on the company’s website until it has achieved a result that is at least equal to 75 points. If there is no website, then it must be communicated to the workforce by any other means.

In addition, if the results remain below this score, the company has three years in which to rectify the salary discrepancies, after which it may be subject to fines of up to 1% of its wage bill. For this, the company and its social partners must discuss this matter during the annual negotiations on gender equality. Failing agreement, the company must make a unilateral decision, in consultation with the CSE, its corrective measures, which must then be submitted through the teleprocedure platform of the Ministry of Employment and Labour.

This requirement applies as of next year. In practical terms, companies have until 1st May 2022 to define and publish their improvement targets, based on the results for the reference period of 12 consecutive months that end at the latest by 31st December 2021. The overall score as well as the sub-indicators must be published at the latest by 1st March 2022.


On 8th March 2021, the Ministry of Employment and Labour released the initial results of the 2021 Index. This year:

• The average score is 85/100, compared with 84/100 in 2020;

• 56% of companies in all sectors have a score that is higher than 75/100;

• The average score for companies with 1,000+ employees has risen since 2019 from 82.9/100 to 88.3/100;

• 56 companies have had a score of less than 75 for 3 years;

• 2 indicators are still behind:

* Return from maternity leave: The average score is 11/15; almost 3,000 companies (13%) have 0/15;

* The 10 highest pay levels: 1/4 of companies have parity or near parity; 43% of companies have fewer than 2 women among the top 10 best paid.

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