Chapter 4: Equality 1: Women and Men
This chapter and the next will explore EU equality law. The material is divided between two chapters partly because there is a lot to cover, and partly because the EU’s long-established law on gender equality (discussed in this chapter) can be seen as somewhat separate to the EU’s more recent expansion into other grounds of discrimination, and into techniques other than litigation by individual workers for the achievement of equality in the workplace (both of which will be considered in the next chapter). Our discussion of EU gender equality law will focus on three main topics: equal pay, equal treatment in matters other than pay, and pregnancy and parenthood. This structure reflects the way in which EU law in this area has developed over time. Before we delve into the detail, we will identify two key themes to look out for, and give a brief account of some of the basic concepts in equality law. KEY THEMES This chapter will draw out two very strong themes in EU labour law generally. Indeed, it might be argued that gender equality exemplifies these themes. They are: the move from an economic rationale for EU law to a social rationale, and the role of the Court of Justice in developing the law. This section will introduce each of these themes as it applies in the equality field. One of the things that many people know about Article 119, the provision in the original Treaty of Rome guaranteeing equal pay for men and women,...
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