German Cabinet approves law meant to help ensure equal pay

BERLIN: Germany's Cabinet has approved legislation meant to help ensure that men and women receive equal pay for doing equivalent work.

Under the draft law passed Wednesday, workers in companies with 200 employees or more will be legally entitled to information on what criteria they are paid under. Manuela Schwesig, the minister for women and families, said it's meant to ensure that "wage determination is no longer a black box" and employees could sue if the company can't demonstrate their pay is fair.

Companies with 500 or more employees will be obliged to report regularly on equal pay efforts.

Statistics show that women's gross earnings average some 21 percent less than men's in Germany, though that sinks to 7 percent when directly comparing men and women with equivalent qualifications and jobs.