The Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 – Getting it Right and Protecting Your Reputation

The Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 – Getting it Right and Protecting Your Reputation

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The Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 was signed into law by the President in July 2021. On International Women’s Day (8th March 2022), Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, announced details of the introduction of gender pay gap reporting in Ireland and confirmed that Regulations under the Act will be published in the coming weeks. The Regulations will require organisations with over 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap in 2022.

Employers will choose a ‘snapshot’ date of their employees in June 2022 and will report on the hourly gender pay gap for those employees on the same date in December 2022.

The information employers will be asked to include in their report:

  • The mean and median hourly wage gap, the former reflecting the entire pay range in an organisation and the latter excluding the impact of unusually high earners.
  • Data on bonus pay.
  • The mean and median pay gaps for part-time employees and for employees on temporary contracts.
  • The proportions of male and female employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.

Employers are also required to publish a statement setting out, in the employers’ opinion, the reasons for the gender pay gap in their company and what measures are being taken or proposed to be taken by the employer to eliminate or reduce that pay gap.

The reporting requirement will initially apply to organisations with 250 or more employees but will extend over time to organisations with 50 or more employees:

  • +250 employees: 2022
  • +150 employees: 2024
  • +50 employees: 2025

Why is this event important for YOU? 

Reporting on your GPG will be a mandatory requirement. Taking action to reduce your GPG will also be required. Not only is EDI seen as essential to most millennials, studies also show that a diverse workforce can boost both innovation and engagement. But, more than that, a balance in pay between male and female employees in your organisation sends a clear message to your employees, potential employees and your competitors – you believe in equality and will strive to be inclusive.

We face a massive skills gap in Ireland and competition for quality candidates is at an all-time high. What message do you think it sends to potential (and existing) employees if the average pay of women is much lower than that of male employees? What message do you think it sends if your GPG is much higher than that of your competitors?

Our speakers cover a range of Gender Pay Gap issues and we have practical lessons from the UK and elsewhere that will help you establish your GPG even before reporting becomes mandatory. We even have a case study from a major Irish employer who has achieved 0% GPG for you to learn from. This event will allow you to get ahead of your competitors by taking any required remedial action now, so that your published GPG report will be more favourable than it might have been.

After attending you will:

  • Understand what the gender pay gap is, why it exists and the Regulations that underpin the legislation;
  • Understand the impending legislation, key provisions and specific government recommendations towards tackling the gender pay gap, for example, wage surveys and reporting requirements;
  • Gain valuable lessons learned by other organisations who have faced similar GPG reporting requirements;
  • Discuss how to remove barriers to promotion and foster female labour market participation at senior levels;
  • Identify the challenges and receive practical solutions;
  • Learn how to reduce your risk and rescue your reputation in the event of a poor result
  • Share best practices to ensure equality and diversity is at the forefront of the 2022/23 business agenda;
  • Share in practical workshop exercises to cement your knowledge.

More value from this event

This event, held in association with Addleshaw Goddard LLP, includes detailed notes and recommendations, plus handy takeaway checklists and practical exercises for use back in the office. You will also be able to attend an interactive additional webinar where we will take you through a worked example on how to calculate your gender pay gap. In addition to detailed papers and relevant checklists, all sessions will be recorded and you will receive a link to those recordings for future use.

Course overview/outline programme

Sessions include:

  • What is Gender Pay Gap Reporting and What Needs to be Included?
  • GPG Across the Water: Lessons Learned from the UK’s Experience
  • Closing the Gap: Understanding the Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 and How Organisational Gender Pay Gaps are Calculated
  • Establishing Risk and Rescuing Your Reputation
  • A Successful Case Study: How to Achieve 0% GPG in Ireland
  • Applied Case Study – What Might Your Gender pay Gap Look Like and How Should It be Calculated?
  • Panel Discussion: More Exercises to Reinforce Learning and Help You Develop Your Action Plan
  • What Next? – Key Takeaways and Action Plan

Added Value for Attendees

Understanding and Correcting your Organisation’s Gender Pay Gap

If you discover you have an unacceptable gender pay gap you will need to correct it. To do that, you will need to analyse and understand the reasons for your GPG – they will differ from organisation to organisation and (probably) department to department. Fortunately, the UK Government has published lots of practical suggestions that will help organisations in that jurisdiction and most of them will be useful to Irish employers who find a negative pay gap.

We provide attendees with a number of likely scenarios on the regular causes of a GPG and offer practical solutions for Ireland-based employers to correct any imbalance and create an action plan for improvement. For example, supposing your analysis finds:

  • People get ‘stuck’ at certain levels within your organisation. What should you do?
  • There is gender imbalance in your promotions. How can you correct this?
  • Men and women leave your organisation at different rates. What are the causes of this?
  • You are not doing all that you can to support part time employees to progress. What more can be done?

Who will benefit from this event?

HR professionals and advisors; senior managers/directors responsible for managing risk; anyone interested in or responsible for an equality agenda; employment equality law practitioners; in-house legal counsel.

When & Where?

This event will take place online on the Hopin platform between 9.45am and 3.45pm on the 16 June 2022.


Standard Rate: €315
Save €20 when you book and pay online when booking.

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In association with:

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Welcome and introduction – Scott Alexander, Head of L&D, Legal Island


What is Gender Pay Gap Reporting and What Needs to be Included?

The gender pay gap is generally acknowledged as the difference between men’s and women’s pay, based on the average difference in gross hourly earnings of all employees. Sounds simple.

And, if you can work out the gap, you can put in place actions to address and reduce the gap. As Minister of State David Staunton indicated as far back as 10th January 2018, The Government will be bringing forward a range of actions to tackle this issue, starting with legislation on wage transparency”. Some three and a half years later, the Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 was signed into law by the President and we expect to see specific Regulations very shortly.

The average gender pay gap for Ireland is 14.4%, which is 2% more than in 2012. Lockdown hasn’t done equality many favours in Ireland. In fact, it can be reasonably argued that women in Ireland effectively work for free from early November each year, compared to their male counterparts.  

In order to introduce measures that might help reduce the gender pay gap, it is important to understand why it exists. In this session Maura Connolly, Partner, Addleshaw Goddard, explains what the gender pay gap is, why it exists and the benefits to be had from reporting a low GPG.

Maura will then explain how the Act will eventually require employers with 50 employees or more to publish information relating to the pay of employees for the purpose of showing whether there are differences in the pay of male and female employees and, if so, the nature and scale of such differences.

Maura examines the impending Regulations attached to the Act, and identifies key provisions, the differences between Irish and UK requirements and what it means for employers in this jurisdiction.

  • Which figures must be published?
  • What information must be published?
  • How will the legislation be enforced?
  • How do you calculate the figures that need to be published, such as the difference between mean and median hourly pay and bonus pay?
  • What can you do to justify any Gap identified?

A number of these issues will be fleshed out in more detail in other sessions after Maura has put the Act and Regulations into context.


GPG Across the Water: Lessons Learned from the UK’s Experience

Although it can be difficult to directly compare international gender pay gaps due to differences in sources, definitions and methods used to calculate the gender pay gap in different countries. However, certain countries, such as Iceland, have made great progress. And the calculations used for establishing a gender pay gap under the Irish legislation were largely based on the UK’s Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017.

So, what can we learn from UK organisations that have already published gender pay gap information? The first year saw 100% compliance. The second year saw around 40% of reported GPGs widening. There is also evidence of sector peer pressure to take action and public authorities using company gender pay gaps in contract compliance tenders. Sarah Harrop, Partner, Addleshaw Goddard, has guided dozens of UK firms through their GPG exercises and sets out key learning points that will prove invaluable for Irish employers.


Break and Networking


Establishing Risk and Rescuing Your Reputation

You are likely to have a gender pay gap. Very few employers actually have a zero difference between male and female pay. A small gap compared to competitors could be used to your advantage. A large gap brings with it the need to manage reputational risk and focus on internal and external considerations in communicating the gender pay gap. Billy Murphy, Chair of Drury, Ireland’s leading PR and communications organisation, discusses:

  • Comparative Matters: A top line view on how UK companies prepared for reputational risk and fared during the first two rounds of reporting, including a few lessons learned
  • Risk Assessment: The potential reputational impact – both positive and negative – of the upcoming legislation for organisations in Ireland

Recommendations: Some of the key issues that you should consider now that we have draft legislation, including reporting early, how to prepare, the importance of communicating internally, the importance of the action plan


A Successful Case Study: How to Achieve 0% GPG in Ireland

In December 2021, An Post announced it become one of the first big employers in Ireland to eliminate its gender pay gap. In two years, An Post manged to reduce the gap from 3.7% to effectively 0%. And, for the first time ever, women now earn slightly more than men at An Post. So, how did they do it? Heather Lowry, Head of Talent, Diversity & Organisation Development at An Post, explains what they did to achieve such an outstanding result and the benefits they expect to flow from their announcement.


Lunch and Networking


Recap and Applied Case Study:

Part 1: Specific Information You Will Need to Find to Calculate Your Gender Pay Gap.

In this session, Doone O’Doherty, Partner, People and Organisation at PwC Ireland, an organisation that has extensive experience in gender pay gap reporting (and other diversity and inclusion initiatives), sets out in more detail the payroll and other factors you will need to know to be (relatively) certain that each of the GPG figures you publish will be accurate. Remember: any attempt to circumvent reporting requirements will be unlawful and any issues raised by staff will likely be protected disclosures.

Part 2: Case Study – What Might Your Gender pay Gap Look Like and How Should It be Calculated?

We’ve looked at what must be reported and what payments and employees must be included in your calculations. We now ask you to work out the gender pay gap in our sample organisation using templates to meet the requirements of legislation and how you will set out your report. This session is also led by Doone O’Doherty.


Comfort Break


Discussion Panel: Reinforcing Your Learning and Preparing Your Action Plans.

We bring back our experts to discuss specific challengesand any remedial actions you might take, depending on what your report highlights. This Session is facilitated by Scott Alexander.

To finish the day, Maura Connolly takes delegates through the key recommendations and action points from the seminar and highlights key documents and sources of further information and assistance to enable you to implement your own response to gender pay gap reporting in a positive way.


Close – Send in any final questions for our follow-up Webinar.  


"Really enjoyed the day, great speakers. Great event and well organised, as always."
Louise Magee, Senior Manager HR, SITA

"Very well organised, particularly liked the speakers."
Sarah Byrne, Executive Officer, An Bord Pleanala

"The event was delivered well, good content, good calibre of presenters."
Heather Byrne, Senior HR Business Partner, Brewin Dolphin Ireland

"Speakers not too long, provided concise information, not an information overload. Time for questions. Legal Island handouts as always very useful."
Denise Kilmartin, HR Manager, St Patrick's Mental Health Services


  • Scott Alexander
    Scott Alexander Head of Learning and Development
    Legal Island

    Scott Alexander joined the CIPD in 1987 and is a certified member of the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland and a member of the Association for Coaching Ireland. Scott was appointed as a member of the Governing Body of Southern Regional College from 1 August 2015. Scott is also a mentor under the CO3 Mentoring Programme for chief officers in the 3rd sector and an HR Committee member for the Bruiser Touring Theatre Company. Scott has over 30 years’ experience in employment relations and employment law. He worked for the Labour Relations Agency in Northern Ireland for 14 years in a variety of roles, including collective and individual conciliation and enquiry point manager, before joining Legal Island as its Head of Learning and Development in January 2006.

  • Maura Connolly
    Maura Connolly Partner
    Addleshaw Goddard

    Maura is head of the Dispute Resolution Department in Addleshaw Goddard's Dublin office, she also leads the Employment & Employee Benefits Law Group.  Maura advises employers and employees on all aspects of employment law including contentious and non-contentious matters. Maura is experienced in civil litigation and has represented clients in employment law tribunals, before industrial relations bodies and in the Courts. Recent experience has included advising an employer on a high profile executive termination, which included wide ranging disputes relating to the executive’s directorship, shareholder and financial interests in the group; advising a registered charity on an investigation arising from a protected disclosure; providing strategic advice to an advertising company on the loss of a major contract and the transfer of its workforce under transfer of undertakings regulations.

  • Doone O'Doherty
    Doone O'Doherty Partner, People & Organisation
    PwC Ireland

    Doone is a tax partner in PwC’s People and Organisation practice. She works with local and international business on employment tax and global mobility. Doone also leads PwC’s Real Time Reporting (‘PAYE Modernisation’) service and sits on their Brexit taskforce team. Doone is passionate about building dynamic teams and delivering a great client experience.

  • Sarah Harrop
    Sarah Harrop Partner
    Addleshaw Goddard

    Sarah advises on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law, and she leads the firm's business immigration practice.  Sarah is an expert in large-scale reorganisations/ redundancy programmes and the employment aspects of corporate and commercial transactions.  Sarah also has extensive experience of advising about complex employment claims.  Her clients include Royal Mail Group Limited and British Airways plc.

  • Billy Murphy
    Billy Murphy Executive Chairman
    Drury Communications

    Billy Murphy co-founded Drury Communications in 1989. He was Managing Director of the firm from 1998 to 2004 and has been Executive Chairman since then. He has been influential in building the business into one of the leading communications consultancies in the Irish market.

    Billy specialises in corporate and financial communications and issue management. In a career spanning over 30 years, Billy has advised many of Ireland’s leading companies and organisations. He has also advised various Government departments, State organisations and semi-state companies. His advice is based on a deep understanding of the dynamics of communications in today’s world together with an ability to grasp complex business issues.

    Billy is Chairman of the Commercial and Marketing Committee for Leinster Rugby and is a member of the Leinster Management Board. He is a fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Ireland.

  • Heather Lowry
    Heather Lowry Head of Talent, Diversity and Organisation Development
    An Post

    Heather Lowry is currently the Head of Talent, Diversity and Organisation Development in An Post.

    Heather started her career in financial services before finding her true passion and moving into the Learning and Development space 17 years ago. Heather held a number of global Head of Learning and Development positions in PFPC International, PNC Global Investment Servicing and BNY Mellon before branching out further into Global Organisation and Management Development.  Heather held the position of Head of Talent and Learning in the Central Bank of Ireland before moving to An Post in 2021.

    Heather has a strong passion for driving systemic culture change through leadership and management development and diversity and inclusion. Heather has a keen interest in neuroscience.  She has a Bachelor of Business and Legal Studies, MSc in Investment & Treasury and most recently completed her second MSc in Business and Leadership Practice. Heather is a qualified coach practitioner and is proficient in a number of diagnostic tools.

Event details


9.45am - 3.45pm


16 June 2022


Online - Hopin


Standard Rate: €315
Save €20 when you book and pay online when booking.