Acceptable reasons for pay differencies

Even if an employer treats an employee in a less favourable way regarding pay because of their gender compared to another employee doing the same work or same level of work, it may not necessarily constitute discrimination. The employer will not be considered as having violated the prohibition against discrimination if they can prove that there is an acceptable reason for the difference in pay.

What is essential for the evaluation is whether or not the reason is acceptable based on its actual content. The mere fact that an employer's policy is based on a collective agreement does not make it acceptable.

To be acceptable, the actions have to have an acceptable goal and that the methods have to be justified and necessary with regards to the goal. A reason that is deemed acceptable may partially or completely explain the difference in pay.

The following is a description of some frequent justifications for pay differences.