Self-employment — equal treatment between men and women
Directive 2010/41/EU on the application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women who are self-employed
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?
It puts into effect the principle of equal treatment between self-employed men and women.
The legislation covers all self-employed workers (people pursuing a gainful activity for their own account) and their spouses or life partners.
Equal treatment means no discrimination, either directly* or indirectly*, on grounds of gender in the public or private sectors. Harassment*, sexual* or otherwise, is considered to be discrimination on grounds of sex.
EU countries may adopt positive action, such as promoting business initiatives among women, to ensure full equality in practice between working men and women.
EU countries must ensure:
the conditions for establishing a business between spouses or life partners are no more difficult than for other people;
spouses and life partners can benefit from national social protection schemes;
self-employed female spouses and life partners are granted a sufficient maternity allowance of at least 14 weeks;
anyone who considers their equal treatment rights have not been respected can access judicial or administrative proceedings;
real and effective compensation or reparation is available for any loss or damage someone might have suffered;
the relevant national bodies have the authority to promote, analyse, monitor and support equal treatment of all people covered by the legislation;
equal treatment is applied between men and women when drafting and implementing laws, regulations, administrative provisions, policies and activities covered by the legislation;
the content of the legislation is made as widely known as possible.
EU countries had to provide the European Commission with all the relevant information on implementation of the directive by 5 August 2015.
The Commission is to present a report on the basis of the national submissions to the European Parliament and the Council no later than 5 August 2016.
The Commission has its own website for female entrepreneurs.
FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?
It applies from 4 August 2010. EU countries had to incorporate it into their national law by 5 August 2012.
For more information, see ‘Employment and training’ on the European Commission's website.
* Direct discrimination: where one person is treated less favourably than another because of their gender.
* Indirect discrimination: where an apparently neutral rule, criterion or practice puts people of one gender at a particular disadvantage.
* Harassment: where unwanted conduct violates someone’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
* Sexual harassment: any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Directive 2010/41/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2010 on the application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women engaged in an activity in a self-employed capacity and repealing Council Directive 86/613/EEC (OJ L 180, 15.7.2010, pp. 1–6)
last update 28.06.2016