Estonian man earns 30% more than a woman

Women earn an average of 17.4 percent less than men across the EU’s 27 member states, with the greatest gender pay difference seen in Estonia, EU statistics released ahead of international women’s day show, EUobserver writes.

Part of a campaign to raise awareness of a situation that has changed little in recent years, EU studies show the discrepancy is largely due to an undervaluation of women’s work, stereotyping and problems with balancing work and private life.

The situation is most acute in Estonia, where men on average earn almost a third (30.3%) more, followed by Austria, Slovakia, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Cyprus and Germany.

At the other end of the scale, the pay gap is lowest in Italy (4.4%), Malta (5.2%) and Poland (7.5%). However, these countries also show relatively low participation of women in the workforce.

“Tackling [the situation] requires action at all levels and a commitment from everyone concerned, from employers and trade unions to national authorities and every citizen,” said EU social affairs commissioner Vladimir Spidla.

The pay gap means that women are at greater risk of poverty in later life with less accrued pension over the years they have worked. Some 21 percent of women aged over 65 risk poverty. This compares to 16 percent of men in a similar situation.

Fighting the recession

Pointing to the current economic crisis, the commissioner indicated that while women are most likely to be affected by the global downturn and occupying most of the part-time and lower-paid jobs, by engaging more women, the workplace could help the EU emerge from the recession more quickly.

“Discrimination produces inefficiency,” said Mr Spidla adding “It is precisely during times of crises that we should be most active.”

The commissioner pointed to a study of 15,000 small and medium-sized companies in Finland that found that those run by women were up to 10 percent more efficient than those run by men. A recent French study indicated that companies with more women on their boards tended to perform better on the stock exchange.

But despite these findings, big companies and banks tend to remain largely male territories when it comes to the top jobs. National central banks in the member states are all headed by a male governor, while women only make up 17 percent of the key decision-making bodies. In big businesses, women’s participation is even lower, with men accounting for almost 90 percent of board members.

As International Women’s Day arrives on 8 March, the latest EU statistics also show that women are also much less represented in politics, clocking in a 31 percent of the European Parliament’s deputies and 24 percent of national law-makers. In national governments, they make up around a quarter of ministers.

Source: BBN

400,000 earned 6884kr /month

More than 50 pct of working people earned up to EEK 99,999 according to the Tax and Customs Board, writes.  In other words, 361,500 Estonians’ gross salary was belowe EEK 8300.

According to the statistics, 26.1 pct of employees or 183,409 people earned up to EEK 49,999 a year or up to 4166 a month.

19.1 pct of employees or 134,000 people earned median salary – their annual gross income was EEK 100.000 – 149,999.

Source: BBN

Table by salary-in-bruto1


250,000 trapped by their housing loans

Nearly 250,000 Estonians are living in homes which’ lower value makes them risk clients for banks, Postimees reports.

The banks may require additional security in case the value of a home falls. During the boom, homes were sold with 10 pct own financing and it’s an open secret that by scheming with the valuation act one could get a home without own financing.

Considering the statistics on could bring an example – an apartment, 50 sq m., bought during the boom in spring 2007 with price of EEK 1.3 mln. Currently this apartment is worth EEK 790,000, but the loan balance is EEK 1.1 mln.

If that family should get in trouble and sell their home, they’d lose home, own financing and would owe EEK 400,000 to the bank. Considering that average net salary is EEK 10,000 it is more than two annual incomes.

Source: BBN