Gender Equality Index

Newsletter - May 2021

Since 2020, all companies with more than 50 employees, and since 2019, all companies with more than 250 employees, must calculate and publish on their website their Gender Equality Index on 1 March of each year.


Index Calculation

The Gender Equality Index is calculated out of 100 points based on several indicators.

For companies with 50 to 250 employees, the index is calculated based on four indicators:

  • The pay gap (between 0 and 40 points): this is the result of a comparison between the average pay of women and men by age group and by socio-professional category or other job classification
  • The difference in the distribution of individual pay rises between women and men (between 0 and 35 points for companies with 50 to 250 employees, between 0 and 20 points for companies with over 250 employees)
  • The percentage of employees who receive a pay rise after returning from maternity leave (between 0 and 15 points)
  • The percentage of women and men among the 10 highest earners (between 0 and 10 points)

For companies with more than 250 employees, a fifth indicator is added to the four above:

  • The gap in the distribution of promotions between women and men (between 0 and 15 points)


Publication of Results

The overall score and details of all the indicators must be visibly and readably published each year by 1 March on the company’s website.

As a transitional measure for the results for 2020 (Decree no. 2021-265 of 10 March 2021), the overall score must be published by 1 May 2021, and the details of the indicators by 1 June 2021.

This information must remain online at least until the results of the following year are published.

If the company does not have a website, this information may be brought to the employees’ attention by any other means.

The information must also be communicated to the Social and Economic Committee (CSE) via the economic and social database (BDES) and to the Labour Inspectorate by means of an electronic declaration.


Measures if the index is below 75

Companies have three years to take corrective measures to reach a score of at least 75. These measures, which may be annual or multi-year, must be defined within the framework of mandatory negotiations on equality in the workplace, or in the absence of an agreement, by a unilateral decision taken by the employer after consulting the CSE.



Failure to publish the index and all the indicators, failure to take corrective measures in response to an index below 75 points, or failure to negotiate an agreement or draw up an action plan is liable for a financial penalty of up to 1% of the company’s payroll.  

All companies with at least 50 employees that have not reached a score of 75 points within three years will be liable for a financial penalty of up to 1% of their payroll.


Special case of companies receiving aid under the recovery plan

(Finance Act no. 2020-1721 of 29 December 2020 for 2021; Decree no. 2021-265 of 10 March 2021)

In 2022, companies with at least 50 employees that have not achieved a score of 75 points and receive aid under the “France Relance” recovery plan will be required to publish their indicators and, where applicable, their improvement goals and corrective measures on the Ministry of Labour’s website. These obligations will continue to apply until they reach a score of at least 75 points.

Companies will exceptionally have until 1 May 2022 to fulfil these obligations and may face financial penalties in the event of an audit.

The monthly newsletter is distributed free of charge to the firm’s clients via email. This document is designed to provide information and may not reflect the most recent legal developments. Clients and readers should not take action or refrain from taking action on the basis of information contained in this newsletter without seeking professional advice.

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