Gender pay gap

Gender pay gap amounts to 5.8 % in 2019

Work & training
Gender pay gap amounts to 5.8 % in 2019

Women earn on average 5.8 % less per hour than men.

According to calculation of the harmonised European gender pay gap for the year 2019 published by Statbel, the Belgian statistical office.

And yet, Belgium performs better than most of the other European countries in terms of hourly wage equality between women and men.

The average pay gap at European level is 14.1 %. Only Luxembourg (1.3 %), Romania (3.3 %) and Italy (4.7 %) have better results than Belgium.

Since 2010, the pay gap in Belgium decreased from 10.2 % to 5.8 % For the EU average, the decrease was smaller: from 15.8 % in 2010 to 14.1 % in 2019.

These are the evolutions in the top 10 countries with the lowest pay gap

   2010 %  2019 %
1 Slovenia 0.9 Luxembourg 1.3
2 Poland 4.5 Romania 3.3
3 Italy 5.3 Italy 4.7
4 Croatia 5.7 Belgium 5.8
5 Malta 7.2 Slovenia 7.9
6 Luxembourg 8.7 Poland 8.5
7 Romania 8.8 Croatia 10.1
8 Belgium 10.2 Hungary 10.6
9 Lithuania 11.9 Malta 11.5
10 Portugal 12.8 Sweden 11.6
Gender Pay gap

Gender pay gap = (hourly wage for men - hourly wage for women) / hourly wage for men
* Greece and Ireland: figures from 2018

The gender pay gap represents the difference between the average gross hourly wages of women and men, expressed as a percentage of the average pay for men. It is expressed as follows:

Gender pay gap = (hourly wage for men - hourly wage for women) / hourly wage for men

The gender pay gap is calculated based on the survey on earnings. The statistical population consists of all employees in enterprises:

  • with at least 10 employees;
  • whose main economic activity is classified under the NACE Rev.2 sections B-S (-O).

There are no restrictions according to age or working hours. The gender pay gap therefore includes both full-time and part-time employees.

The concept of “wage” applied includes paid overtime as well as premiums that are paid at each payment period. Examples include premiums for night or weekend shifts. Premiums that are only paid exceptionally, such as thirteenth-month pay or double holiday pay, are excluded.

All the EU Member States apply the same harmonised concepts and methods for the calculation of the gender pay gap. This makes it possible to compare the Belgian situation with the pay gap in the other EU Member States.