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Equal remuneration is an approach to providing compensation that is based on merit and job classification, without any regard to the gender of the employee. Often presented as equal pay for equal work, this concept gained a great deal of prominence during the 20th century as the rights of women in many nations were expanded. Discussions of equal remuneration continue as there are still industries in which women performing the same work tasks as their male counterparts receive salaries and wages that are less than the compensation afforded to men.
The underlying concept of equal remuneration rests in the experience and the expertise of the individual, and omits any consideration based on the gender of that individual. In theory, this means that a man and a woman who are assigned the same job title and perform the same tasks as part of their work responsibilities will receive the same base rate of pay. Assuming that their skill sets and productivity are more or less the same, this means each will also earn the same merit raises over time, and receive similar additional benefits over the years they remain with the employer.
In order to make use of equal remuneration in the workplace, employers will create objective qualifications that apply to the specifics of any job position within the organization, requiring certain skill sets for each of those positions. Gender will not be a factor in consideration for hiring or promotion to those positions, only the ability of the applicant to successfully carry out the assigned tasks. To this end, the mention of gender in the creation of salary and wage schedules, any bonus programs associated with the positions, and even consideration for promotions or participation in continuing education programs will be based on merit and not the gender of the employee.
While the concept of equal remuneration become more common in a number of industries by the end of the 20th century, the effort to ensure equal pay for equal work continues in many business settings around the world. In some instances, efforts to base compensation on skill and experience without regard to gender are impacted by long-held traditions within certain cultures. Employment laws and regulations enacted at a national level are often necessary in order to further the cause of equal remuneration and often provide the framework for evaluating whether or not employers are using pay schedules based on performance rather than the sex of employees.
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