02.05.2022

Press release: Seal of approval for the seal of approval

Fair Pay certification meets the highest requirements

Berlin - The UNIVERSAL FAIR PAY CHECK has been recognized by the European Trademark Office as a Union certification mark. The certification process, with which the non-profit Berlin-based Fair Pay Innovation Lab (FPI) has been recognizing companies worldwide for fair pay since 2021, has thus received a seal of approval from the highest authority. This guarantees participating companies the quality of the globally unique certification. In addition, a screening board of international experts from Canada, the UK, Iceland and Germany has been appointed to monitor the effectiveness of the award.

Since spring 2021, the FPI has been awarding the "UNIVERSAL FAIR PAY CHECK" for fair pay to companies worldwide, regardless of their size, location or legislation. During the certification process, existing pay gaps are identified and sustainably closed. The main cause of unjustified differences in income is the pay gap between men and women, which averages 23% worldwide. In addition to the gender pay gap, demographic characteristics such as age, origin or sexual orientation can also be reasons for unfair pay.

Under the patronage of Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil, both large and small companies such as the German DAX insurance company Allianz Deutschland AG, the listed fragrance group Symrise AG and the second-largest Icelandic energy company Reykjavík Energy have already received the award. Now, after careful examination, the globally unique certification has been recognized as a certification mark by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). This means that the service meets the highest standards of neutrality, verification, monitoring and transparency.

Henrike von Platen, founder and CEO of the FPI, sees this recognition as a clear signal of the quality of the process she developed together with international equal pay experts: "We designed our certification to be as uncomplicated and straightforward as possible, but at the same time paid strict attention to the high quality of the award from the outset," explains von Platen. "After all, we don't want to engage in pink-washing, but rather guarantee stakeholders, investors and employees that the companies we certify really do pay fairly. The European Trademark Office now officially guarantees the quality of our process. Of course, we also certify in the rest of the world according to the same strict criteria as in Europe."

The non-profit GmbH was supported by the Berlin law firm dtb rechtsanwälte, which succeeded in registering the currently most effective certification for fair pay as a Union guarantee mark. "Fair pay is a matter of respect for our law firm. With our decision to provide pro bono advice on trademark law for the UNIVERSAL FAIR PAY CHECK, we are also making a contribution to equal opportunities in all companies," says Dr. Pascal Decker, lawyer and partner at dtb rechtsanwälte, explaining his law firm's commitment. In Germany, guarantee marks can only be registered since January 2019; to guarantee the properties of goods or services and to identify the trademark as a seal of quality with guaranteed properties. "The certification mark is new territory under trademark law. Many applications to register a service as a certification mark fail. The successful registration of the UNIVERSAL FAIR PAY CHECK attests to its quality as a certificate," says Decker.

"An important step on the way to fair pay for all," adds von Platen. "Money is the key to equal opportunities for all people, 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 creates a level playing field for everyone."

From now on, a newly appointed Screening Board with international experts from Germany, Canada and Iceland will also monitor the quality of the seal. The award committee examines the applications of new companies, monitors the international debate on fair pay and participates in the dialog. The first members include the Canadian government's Equal Pay Commissioner Karen A. Jensen, the British included founder and CEO Stephen Frost, the Icelandic PayAnalytics founder and US professor Margrét Bjarnadóttir and the German Willis Towers Watson pay expertFlorian Frank. The Screening Board is reappointed every two years and monitors compliance with and the effectiveness of the certification requirements.

Interested companies and organizations from all over the world can register for certification with the non-profit Berlin Fair Pay Innovation Lab: www.universal-fair-pay-check.de

Press contact FPI:
Christine Gräbe
+49 30 83217140 | contact@fpi-lab.org
FPI Fair Pay Innovation Lab gGmbH
Philipp-Franck-Weg 19 | 14109 Berlin
www.fpi-lab.org

 

Press contact dtb rechtsanwälte:
RA Leon van Lee
+49 30 2200 2480 | berlin@dtb.eu
Janka Haverbeck
+49 173 2073491 | presse@haverbeck-pr.de
dtb rechtsanwälte
Pergamon Palais | Am Kupfergraben 4 | 10117 Berlin
www.dtb.eu