Gender Pay Gap ReportingPosted in : Hot topics in Employment and Technology Law with Matheson on 8 March 2019
Today, on International Women’s Day, we take a moment to honour all women, from Imelda May to Countess Markievicz and especially all women going about their daily activities at work and with family and friends.
It is timely to comment on the General Scheme of the Gender Pay Gap (Information) Bill (“the Bill”). Significantly, the Bill applies to both the public and private sectors, subject to thresholds regarding employee figures.
In a nutshell, the legislation will oblige employers, regardless of their sector, to report any gap between men and women in terms of pay. The General Scheme of the Bill is currently before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality for pre-legislative scrutiny.
The General Scheme of the Bill currently provides that the following information will need to be reported:
- The difference in the median and mean hourly pay and bonus pay for men and women
- The difference in the median and mean part-time pay and temporary contract pay for men and women
- The proportion of male and female employees receiving bonuses and benefits in kind in each of the lower, lower-middle, upper-middle and upper range pay bands
The Bill is not about pay equality, it is about identifying average pay for women and men and assessing whether a gap arises. Where a gap arises, employers need to commit to a plan to address gender pay issues. A dissatisfied employee may refer a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission who will investigate the complaint and may issue an order requiring compliance. In addition, designated officers may be appointed to investigate a sample of employers to ensure the accuracy of published information. The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission will be permitted to apply to the Circuit Court for an order obliging an employer to comply with the legislation. In certain sectors, such as the education sector, third level funding will be conditional upon best in class performances on gender pay and equality. Finally, the reputational damage for any organisation found to be in breach of the requirements of the Bill may be irreparable.
It is hoped that the new reporting obligations on employers will reduce the current gender pay gap which is demonstrated in the chart below.
This article is correct at 08/03/2019
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