Overcoming the Gender Pay Gap: Equal Pay Policies Implementation in France and the United Kingdom

  • Cécile Guillaume


This chapter looks into the two legal routes France and the UK have chosen to enforce equal pay legislation, and more specifically the complicated relationship between litigation and bargaining strategies to advance equality. Whereas France has relied on state intervention and, more recently, on collective bargaining to implement equal pay policies, we argue that lessons could be drawn from the British case where trade unions’ mass litigation strategies have resulted in an unequalled understanding of the concepts of equal value and indirect discrimination, and the development of comprehensive methods of job evaluation. While being very controversial, this litigious approach has demonstrated an emerging relationship between the system of collective bargaining and the litigation process depicted as complements, allowing to address implicit representations of the value of women’s work and to challenge traditional unions’ views on collective bargaining.


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© The Author(s) 2017

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business SchoolUniversity of RoehamptonLondonUK

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