The proposal to introduce a national minimum wage in Britain has drawn attention to the importance of general systems of wage determination and wage protection for gender equity. Two-thirds of the likely beneficiaries of a national minimum wage are likely to be women and the U.K. government has even identified its minimum wage policy as one of its major measures to promote gender equality. Such awareness of the relationship between wage systems and wage trends is, however, still relatively rare, not only within U.K. debates but also within policy debates across the European Union. As the labour market of every EU country can be shown to be gender segregated, it is extremely unlikely that both differences in systems of wage determination between countries and changes to wage structures would not have consequences for the relative pay of women and men.
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