The pay gap between men and women amounts to 5.3% in 2020
On average, women earn 5.3% less per hour than men, with the situation worsening with age. The pay gap increases from 3.4% between the ages of 25 and 34 to 8.9% for the 55-64 age group.
This is the result of the calculation of the gender pay gap, harmonised at European level, for the year 2020, published by Statbel, the Belgian statistical office.
However, Belgium is doing better than most other European countries when it comes to equal hourly wages for women and men.
The average pay gap at European level is 13.0%. Only Luxembourg (0.7%), Romania (2.4%), Slovenia (3.1%), Italy (4.2%) and Poland (4.5%) do better than Belgium.
Since 2010, the pay gap in Belgium has decreased from 10.2% to 5.3%. The European average has decreased to a lesser extent: from 15.8% in 2010 to 13.0% in 2020.
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.