Changing Patterns of Work, Care and Public Policy in Europe and North America
Edited by Diane Perrons, Colette Fagan, Linda McDowell, Kath Ray and Kevin Ward
Chapter 15: Equal Opportunity and Unwarranted Pay Differences. A Case Study of Gender-Related Pay Differences in a Knowledge-based Society
15. Equal opportunity and unwarranted pay differences: a case study of gender-related pay differences in a knowledge-based society Lena Gonäs, Ann Bergman and Kerstin Rosenberg INTRODUCTION This chapter focuses on gender-related pay differences, and on the legal and institutional framework for equal opportunity that has been developed in Sweden. In connection with yearly pay reviews, Swedish employers are required by law to analyse the pay of men and women, and to identify unwarranted differences. The empirical data on which this chapter is based are from a study of unwarranted pay differences at Karlstad University, one of several new universities in Sweden. The methodology included multivariate statistical analysis, a job evaluation, and a qualitative analysis of individual work and pay histories. The concluding section of this chapter discusses the results of the study in relation to strategies for reducing gender-related pay gaps. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND The Swedish system of labour relations was based on collective agreements negotiated within a loose legislative framework. What came to be known as the ‘Swedish model’ consisted of high-level negotiations and agreements between the two main parties, business and labour, based on their common interest in a peaceful labour market and the benefits of economic growth (Meidner, 1994). Both parties had an interest in avoiding the involvement of government and legislature in setting wages and salaries or specifying working conditions. But this arrangement began to change in the 1970s, with the passing of the 241 242 Equality policies in the new economy Employment Security and Co-determination...
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