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Equal pay bill signed into law in Brazil

Tuesday, July 4th 2023 - 09:19 UTC
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“We women have been waiting for this day for at least 80 years,” Minister Cida Gonçalves said “We women have been waiting for this day for at least 80 years,” Minister Cida Gonçalves said

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Monday signed into law a bill granting male and female workers equal pay for the same job position, it was reported in Brasilia. Lula insisted he would “enforce” this measure, which “cannot be violated or circumvented” under any circumstances.

“Know that this government will enforce this law,” Lula stressed. He also called on men and women to denounce any breach and assured that “all human beings must begin to be indignant in the face of inequality because inequality is not normal”. Lula also vowed to enforce the equal pay law “to the letter.”

The new legislation modifies the so-called 'Consolidation of Labor Laws', which dates back to 1943 and brings together labor norms, to definitively establish mandatory equal pay for men and women performing the same functions.

The document provides for transparency and remuneration mechanisms to be followed by companies, creates various control tools to ensure compliance, and establishes heavy administrative fines for those who violate the law.

Women, who represent 51.1% of the Brazilian population, earn around 22% less than men and hold only 37% of management positions. With the new norm, women discriminated against can sue for moral damages regardless of the fines the State charges the employer, Agencia Brasil explained.

Lula's government has opened three speed-dial lines where these cases can be reported: Dial 100, Dial 180, or Dial 158. The Labor Ministry's website also offers an alternative, it was explained.

In Brazil, a woman earns, on average, 78% of a man's income, according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). In the case of black or brown women, the percentage drops to less than half (46%) of the salaries of white men.

”We women have been waiting for this day for at least 80 years. The obligation of equal pay for equal work between women and men has existed in Brazil since 1943, with the implementation of the Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT). Since then, there has been very little progress in this direction,” Women's Affairs Minister Cida Gonçalves was quoted by Agencia Brasil as saying.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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