Fair Pay certification meets the highest requirements
Berlin – The UNIVERSAL FAIR PAY CHECK has been recognized by the European Trademarks Office as an EU certification mark. The certification process with which the Berlin-based, non-profit Fair Pay Innovation Lab (FPI) has been certifying companies around the world for fair pay since 2021 has been awarded a quality seal itself from the highest level. This guarantees the quality of globally unique certification for participating companies. In addition, a screening board of international experts from Canada, Great Britain, Iceland and Germany has been appointed to monitor the effectiveness of the award.
Since spring 2021, the FPI has been certifying companies around the world for fair pay, with the “UNIVERSAL FAIR PAY CHECK”. This is open to all companies regardless of their size, location or respective legislation. During the certification process, any potential gaps are identified and permanently closed. The main cause of unjustified differences in income is the pay gap between men and women, which averages 23 per cent worldwide. Besides the so-called gender pay gap, demographic characteristics such as age, origin or sexual orientation can also be reasons for unfair pay. Under the sponsorship of Hubertus Heil, German Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, certification has already been awarded to enterprises both large and small, such as the German DAX insurance company Allianz Deutschland AG, the fragrance group Symrise AG, which is listed on the Stock Exchange, and Reykjavík Energy, Iceland’s second largest energy provider. Now, after close examination by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the globally unique certification has been recognized as a certification trademark, meeting the highest standards of neutrality, verification, monitoring and transparency.
Henrike von Platen, founder and CEO of the FPI, sees this recognition as clear affirmation of the quality of the procedure she developed together with international experts in equal pay: “We have designed our certification to be as uncomplicated and seamless as possible, but at the same time, from the outset we focused on ensuring this was a top-quality award,” explains von Platen. “After all, we have no interest in pink-washing! Instead, we want to guarantee to stakeholders, investors and employees that the companies that we certify actually do provide fair pay. The European Trademarks Office now officially guarantees the quality of our process. And of course, we conduct certification in the rest of the world according to the same strict criteria as in Europe.”
The non-profit limited partnership was supported by Berlin-based dtb lawyers, who succeeded in registering today’s most effective certification for fair pay as an EU certification mark. “For our chambers, fair pay is a question of respect. With our decision to provide pro bono trademark law consultancy for the UNIVERSAL FAIR PAY CHECK, we too are contributing to equal opportunities in all firms.” This is how Dr. Pascal Decker, a practicing partner at dtb lawyers, explains his company’s commitment. It has only been possible to register certification marks, to guarantee the properties of goods or services and to identify the mark as a quality seal with guaranteed properties in Germany since January 2019. “The certification mark is new territory in the field of trademarks. Many attempts to register a service as a certification mark fail. The successful registration of the UNIVERSAL FAIR PAY CHECK attests to its quality as certification,” continues Decker.
“It’s an important step on the way to fair pay for all,” adds von Platen. “Money is the key to equal opportunities for everyone, no matter where they come from, who they love or what they believe in, regardless of whether they have children or how old they are. The UNIVERSAL FAIR PAY CHECK guarantees that a company is providing a level playing field for everyone.”
But that’s not all. With immediate effect, a newly-appointed screening board of international experts from Germany, Canada, Great Britain and Iceland will be monitoring the quality of the seal. The awards committee examines applications from new firms, follows the international debate on the subject of fair pay and takes part in the dialog. The first members include Karen A. Jensen, Canada’s Federal Pay Equity Commissioner; Stephen Frost, the British founder and CEO of Included; Margrét Bjarnadóttir, the Icelandic founder of PayAnalytics and US professor; and Florian Frank, the German pay expert from Willis Towers Watson. New members will be appointed to the screening board every two years, and it will monitor compliance with certification specifications, and their effectiveness.
Interested companies and organizations from anywhere in the world can register for certification with the Berlin-based, non-profit Fair Pay Innovation Lab: www.universal-fair-pay-check.de
Media contact for dtb laywers:
Leon van Lee, lawyer
+49 30 2200 2480 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Janka Haverbeck +49 173 2073491
dtb lawyers | Pergamon Palais | Am Kupfergraben 4, D-10117 Berlin
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