Fair Pay – how Berlin certification accelerates global implementation

3 Apr 2023

There is action on fair pay: The United Nations declared equality to be the most important cross-cutting issue of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. New equal pay laws have been passed or already implemented in many countries around the world. In Brussels, a new EU directive was adopted that will soon ensure more sanctions and the long overdue reversal of the burden of proof in European companies. And in Germany, more and more of the few Equal Pay plaintiffs are being proven right; most recently, the Federal Labor Court ruled in February that negotiating skills cannot be a justification for unfair pay.

But how can fair pay be implemented in everyday business? How can unjustified income differences be avoided? And how can a renewed widening of the gender pay gap and other gaps be avoided?

The Berlin-based non-profit FPI Fair Pay Innovation Lab used the pandemic-forced pause to take the next, very concrete steps toward equal opportunities and equality. Together with a team of international experts, FPI has developed a certification to guarantee that companies pay fairly.

The special quality of the UNIVERSAL FAIR PAY CHECK®, which has been recognized as a guarantee mark: The certification takes into account international legislation already in force and forthcoming legislation. Furthermore it can be carried out at any location in the world, regardless of size and number of employees, organizational form or industry. To guarantee the certification’s quality, a screening board of international experts from the UK, Iceland and Germany monitors the effectiveness of the three-stage certification. Companies and organizations can apply to become Fair Pay Analysts, Fair Pay Developers and Fair Pay Leaders, depending on their level of implementation and the size of the gender pay gap. The first companies to be recognized as Fair Pay Leaders came from Iceland, where particularly ambitious pay transparency laws are in place.

In the first quarter of 2023, the first German Fair Pay Leader was certified: the long-established car manufacturer BMW closed the pay gap for all 80,000 employees in Germany. As Fair Pay Leaders, companies commit to transparency – which is still voluntary in Germany – and communicate the size of their pay gaps. Here are the results for BMW: The company is certified with a non-adjusted gender pay gap of 1.3 percent and an adjusted gender pay gap of -0.9 percent. The certificate will be presented to the company together with PUMA Germany, which has developed from a Fair Pay Analyst to a Fair Pay Developer in a very short time, with GS1 Germany GmbH, Isar Kliniken GmbH and esentri AG on April 18 by the German Labor Minister Hubertus Heil, the patron of the fair pay certificate in Germany, at the BMW Representative Office in Berlin.


• More about the UNIVERSAL FAIR PAY CHECK®: https://universal-fair-pay-check.org
• Certified Companies: https://www.fpi-lab.org/en/certified-companies/ 
• UNIVERSAL FAIR PAY CHECK® as certification trademark: https://www.fpi-lab.org/en/certification-mark/
• FPI Analysepartner: https://www.fpi-lab.org/partner/
• PUMA Germany certified as Fair Pay Developer: https://about.puma.com/en/newsroom/corporate-news/2023/03-01-2023-paygap))