News - Germany

Germany - January 2015

New ‘Frauenquote’ introduces targets for senior women in Germany

In December 2014, the German government introduced legislation to increase the number of women in senior positions in Germany’s leading organisations.  From 2016, at least 30% of all supervisory board positions in Germany’s largest companies must be held by women.

The so-called ‘Frauenquote’ will only apply to publicly listed companies where more than 50% of board positions are held by employees (some 108 organisations).  Failure to meet the targets by 2016 will result in sanctions and the requirement to leave board positions unoccupied until the 30% quota is achieved.  Mid-size companies and federal administration offices will also be expected to introduce their own targets for senior female representation, although no sanctions will be applied.

The move, which follows similar legislation in Italy, the Netherlands and Norway, is intended to address the high pay gap between men and women in Germany (currently 22%), as well as increase the number of women in top leadership positions: just 5.8% of chief executives in Germany’s largest companies are women.

Although there has been fierce resistance to the legislation in some areas, politicians hope that the ‘Frauenquote’ will bring about a change in working practices in German companies.  One third of those companies listed in the main German stock exchange (DAX) already meet the quota.

Resources

Further information

For further information or to discuss any of the issues raised, please contact Turn on Javascript! on +49 89 2422300.

 

Disclaimer
Content is for general information purposes only.  The information provided is not intended to be comprehensive and it does not constitute or contain legal or other advice.  If you require assistance in relation to any issue please seek specific advice relevant to your particular circumstances.  In particular, no responsibility shall be accepted by the authors or by Abbiss Cadres LLP for any losses occasioned by reliance on any content appearing on or accessible from this article.  For further legal information see our legal page.

Circular 230 disclosure
To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS and other taxing authorities, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this article (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

Copying
If you would like to copy or otherwise reproduce this article then you may do so provided that: (1) any such copy or reproduction is for your own personal use or if it is made available to any third party it is done so on a free of charge basis; and (2) the article is reproduced in full together with the contact details, disclaimer and any logos as they appear on each article.