French companies caught discriminating against women over pay will be given three years to close the gap or face fines under new labour proposals, reports the BBC.
The government revealed the planned crackdown to unions and employers on Wednesday, giving them a month to iron out details.
If passed by parliament, the measure will be rolled out by 2020.
Men are still paid on average 9% more than women in France despite equal pay laws going back 45 years.
The measure is part of a social reform bill due to be presented to prime minister Édouard Philippe's cabinet at the end of next month.
"The crazy thing is that it all exists in law but equality is missing in practice," said Mr Philippe.
"Our aim is to pass from fine words to true, genuine equality."