Orlov, ligestilling og løngab: en juridisk og økonomisk analyse af hvilken indflydelse den skæve fordeling af orlov, har i forhold til ligestillingen og løngabet mellem mænd og kvinder i Danmark

Trine Eskildsen Møllgaard

Student thesis: Master thesis


It has been more than three decades since Denmark made equal pay between men and woman legally binding. The goal was, and still is, to grant all people carrying out the same jobs or jobs of equal value, the right to equal pay regardless of gender. The legal right to equal pay has been established through Danish and EU law as well as collective agreements. However, men are still being rewarded more generously than women and throughout the last years very little progress has been made in reducing the pay gap existing between the genders. To explain this difference, you can look in several different directions. This thesis discusses one possible explanation – that the pay gap can result from imbalance in how much parental leave women and men respectively choose to take when becoming a parent. This imbalance means that many women rather than men end up having long periods away from the labour market each time they have a child. There can be several consequences of long maternity leaves including statistical discriminations, loss of human capital and sustained old-fashioned gender roles. An analysis of these potential consequences is the focal point of this thesis. In the legal part of the thesis the legal dogmatic method will be used to discuss the current regulations regarding equal pay. Next, the regulatory body concerning leave related to pregnancy and birth and the rights to paid parental leave will be discussed. From there on, the focus is moved to economic theory. Several areas are clarified. Firstly, discussions on how the right to take parental leave and the rights to receive compensated leave, influence the opportunity of achieving equal pay in Denmark are presented. Secondly, the consequences of career breaks when having a child and how this affects the gender equality at home as well as on the labour market are discussed. Followed by, an analysis of how these career breaks impact on equal pay between men and women. Finally, whether the degree of compensation while on leave has results on how leave are divided between the parents and the length of leave taken are examined. The conclusions of these analyses seem clear. The inequality in how much leave each parent take has negative consequences for equality at home and at work, as well as for achieving equal pay for equal work. In the final part of this thesis, possible solutions to this inequality are presented. This includes experiences from the other Nordic countries and how they have tried to reach equal pay between men and woman. Perspectives are drawn on these experiences, when the final recommendations are presented.

EducationsMSc in Commercial Law, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages77