A district council in eastern France has been fined €90,000 (£81,000) for appointing too many women to its management team in breach of public-sector gender parity laws.
Public institutions are usually fined for failing to meet the statutory 40 per cent quota of women in top jobs under a 2012 parity law. This is the first time a state body is known to have been penalised for appointing more than 60 per cent women to senior positions. Few employers were aware that the maximum limit could apply to women as well as men.
Jean-François Debat, the chairman of the Bourg-en-Bresse council, is unapologetic. “I think it’s comical to be punished for this reason,” he said. “Not only do I stand by our appointments, I’m proud of having so many women in our management teams.”