Intended for healthcare professionals

Career Focus


BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 24 July 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:S3-7204

A group of psychologists in Vienna recently sued their employer, arguing that they should receive the same pay as doctors doing what is ostensibly the same work: performing psychotherapy. The psychologists were mainly women, the doctors mainly men, and the health plan charged the same for sessions with either professional. Article 141 of the Treaty of Amsterdam requires all European countries to give equal pay for equal work. But as the Industrial Relations Law Bulletin (1999;620:2-3) reports, the judge ruled that the two groups drew on different knowledge and skills, which was “an objective justification for giving different pay for the same work.” Furthermore, the training the professional has received may also be “a possible criteria for determining whether the same work is being performed.”

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