The French government passed a new law amending several existing gender equality laws. Law 2021-1774, known as the “Rixain” law, intensifies gender equality reporting obligations specifically for senior executives (cadres dirigeants) and board members in large corporations with more than 1,000 employees.
The law will enter into effect gradually between 2022 and 2029.
Currently and in accordance with Law 2018-771 of 5 September 2018, companies with 50 or more employees are required to publish their gender pay gap “index” every year on their website. Employers must publish their aggregate score (up to a total of 100 points) and their individual scores for each of the following five factors:
- Gender pay gap calculated on average pay of male and female employees by age group and comparable job category
- Gender equality in annual salary increases
- Gender equality in promotions for each job category
- Payment of salary increases to female employees returning from maternity leave (when the salary increase was awarded during their leave)
- The number of employees from the underrepresented gender among the 10 highest-paid employees
Employers with a score below 75 points are required to implement and communicate corrective measures. A penalty of up to 1% of the company’s payroll may apply starting from 1 March 2022 and in accordance with Law 2028-771, if:
- A company fails to publish a gender pay gap report
- The gender pay index published remains below 75 points for three years when no corrective measures are implemented
Employers are also required to share their gender pay index with their workplace social and economic council (works council).
In Accordance with “Rixain” law, from 1 March 2022, companies with 1,000 or more employees will be required to annually publish on their website statistics showing the percentage of women and men in senior management and board management positions. From 1 March 2023, these statistics will also be published on the website of the Ministry of Labor. Minimum representation of women in board management positions and in senior management must be at least 30% by 1 March 2027, and at least 40% by 1 March 2030. Companies that fail to meet their quotas will be required to publish corrective measures to ensure compliance. Failure to meet the required quotas for two years from 1 March 2030, may subject a company to fines of up to 1% of their annual payroll.
In addition, from 27 December 2022, salaries of all male and female employees will have to be paid into accounts in their name.
Employers should start reviewing their gender representation and reporting process to ensure compliance. Implementing decrees are expected to be published to further explain the new legislation.