This thesis aims to examine the impact of the EU principle of equal treatment on the Danish labour market. It does so by applying both a legal, an economic and an interdisciplinary analysis approach. Firstly, taking a legal approach, it is examined whether or not absences from work due to illness related to pregnancy, fertility treatment, abortion or illness after maternity leave can legally be included in the counting of sick days. Such inclusion could form the basis of an employer’s right to dismiss an employee with short notice, which thus has wide-ranging consequences for workplace gender equality. On the basis of an analysis of four independent scenarios, it is found that the principle of equal treatment, which has been implemented in national legislation, impacts and precedes the Danish 120-day rule. It is found that sick leave directly related to pregnancy, cannot be included in the counting of sick days towards the 120 days. Therefore, the principle of equal treatment protects women from being treated unequally. Second, with an economic approach, it is analyzed how the balance between family and work affects women's positioning on the labor market. This includes whether women's maternity leave affects their ability to achieve equal pay and management positions. It is found that in Denmark the public sector predominantly employs women, while the private sector predominantly employs men. The Danish labour market is thereby generally gender segregated, which maintains a gender segregation in the household, preserving the traditional gender roles. This is compounded by the unequal distribution of maternity leave, which contributes further to the pay gap between men and women. Among other findings, it is derived that taste-based discrimination reduces women's opportunities for equal pay and management positions. Furthermore, statistical discrimination reduces women’s competitiveness with regards to management positions, since employers are biased by the general perception that women are likely to be more absent from the workplace due to lengthier maternity leave compared to men, why women are largely excluded. Thirdly, the inequality problem manifests itself most clearly at top management positions with high income in the private sector, where women are underrepresented and face a significant gender pay gap. In this area, women’s maternity leaves create an unintentional setback for women, and thereby in effect generates a shortcut for men to dominate top management. Finally, a combination of the legal and economic aspects is examined. It is analyzed whether the purpose of the EU principle of equal treatment has been achieved in the Danish labor market, and how applicable law should be amended in order to give women greater opportunities to achieve equal pay and management positions in top management. It is found that the purpose has not been achieved in all parts of the labour market. A number of suggested solutions are proposed and examined. These suggestions approach the unequal gender distribution of both pay, maternity leave, and disadvantages faced by women pursuing management positions.
|Uddannelser||Cand.merc.jur Erhvervsøkonomi og Jura, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling|