New disclosure rules to ensure equal pay in Germany

January 7, 2017

A new law (EntgTranspG) to ensure equal pay of male and female employees comes into effect in Germany this summer (the “Act”).

This will require employers, upon request by an employee, to disclose anonymised salary details of other employees working in a comparable position, and how they are calculated. An employer will be caught by the Act if they have more than 200 employees in a single location (the threshold does not require employee numbers across the whole company to be aggregated).

What do the new rules say?

Disclosure of salary and method of calculation:

Companies of over 500 employees:

Important uncertainties remain under the Act:

What does this mean for employers?

The new rules introduce a number of challenges for employers, including the additional bureaucratic burden, costs and possible damage to employee relations, depending on the data disclosed. 

It may cause employers to hesitate in negotiating salaries on a purely commercial basis, if they may appear to worsen a gender imbalance and if there are fears that pay packages will not remain confidential.  Employers may also have difficulty complying with the obligation to disclose details of how pay is calculated, if in fact it is a matter of commercial negotiation rather than calculation according to set pay scales or a formula. 

For further information or to discuss any of the issues raised, please contact Dr. Christian Ley on +49 (0) 89 2422300 at Keller Menz –



German Act on Salary Transparency (Entgelttransparenzgesetz (EntgTranspG)).


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