The three major objectives of the project are (i) to reconstruct the relevant economic and legal frameworks in each partner country involved, highlighting the most recent developments of the model of industrial relations and collective bargaining endorsed at national level in response to the crisis as well as to the Euro Plus Pact targets; (ii) to assess the variables affecting the possibility for the social partners to play an effective role in the reduction of the GPG throughout the analysis of selected case-studies. (iii) This shall foster a useful exchange of good practices besides enabling the elaboration of a set of guidelines for the negotiation of GPG-related issues in the collective bargaining process.

The macro analysis of the national contexts and the micro analysis of relevant national company case-studies are expected to answer the following questions: what is the interdependence between the model of industrial relations/the level of decentralisation of collective bargaining/the coverage of collective agreements and the possibility for the social partners to play an effective role in the reduction of the GPG? What are the crucial variables that affect their action? What are the factors that affect the effectiveness of their actions? Is there a consideration of the impact on equal pay of arrangements concerning part-time work and fixed-term contracts, as well as of arrangements introducing systems of performance-related pay? Are there arrangements to improve the transparency of pay, to assess and compare the real value of jobs, to carry out pay audits?

The comparison between the three different national contexts involved in the partnership and the case-studies therein selected shall provide for a useful test bench to assess the variables affecting the role of the social partners in tackling the GPG. Moreover, the comparative process will foster a useful exchange and dissemination of good practices. The ultimate aim of the project is to disseminate these examples of good practice and to elaborate a set of guidelines that can usefully support trade unions, employers’ associations and companies, which are the final beneficiaries of the project, in the negotiation of arrangements on GPG-related issues. Besides, the partnership with the Etuc shall enable the research to transfer its findings to a wider level, so to contribute to the future actions of the European social partners.