Forthcoming Gender Pay Gap Legislation

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The ‘Gender Pay Gap Information Bill’ will require organisations to report on the gender pay differentials in their organisations, setting out pay differences between female and male employees, including bonuses – the bill has been stalled since 2019.

HR Team director, Martina McAuley, said: “Employers will have to explain the reasons for the gap and outline the measures they have in place to address it. It is expected that the reporting will commence in 2022 and I would recommend that employers begin to prepare now”.

Research carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) revealed that only 33% of employers are calculating the extent of a pay imbalance, showing a slow pace of change on the issue in Ireland during 2021. According to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office, the gender pay gap in Ireland is currently 14.4% on average – slightly lower than the EU average.

Preparing For Gender Pay Gap Reporting In Ireland

Martina of the HR Team

“Employers should start preparing for the new reporting requirements to ensure compliance”,  Ms McAuley advises.

“Non-compliance can be reported to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), which can make an order requiring the organisation to comply and this may be damaging to an employer’s reputation. If it is reported that there is a gender pay gap, this may also negatively affect employee morale.”

Which Employers Does This Apply To?

The regulations will apply to the following:

  • Those employing more than 250 upon the commencement of the reporting.
  • Those employing less than 250 but 150 or more from two years after the anniversary of the regulations being introduced.
  • Those employing less than 150 three years after the anniversary of the regulations being introduced.

The regulations will not apply to an employer having less than 50 employees.

Employers must publish the following information:

  • The difference between the mean and median hourly remuneration and bonus remuneration of full-time and part-time employees of the male gender and employees of the female gender along with the percentage of each paid a bonus and also the percentage of each who receive benefits in kind.
  • Employers will also be required to publish the reason for any differences which are attributable to gender and the measures being taken/being proposed to eliminate or reduce such differences.
  • Section 20A(9) specifies that employers may be required to publish the same information as required regarding temporary employees.

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How Can Employers Prepare For the Pay Gap Legislation?

Research – employers should make themselves aware of the requirements and review the systems that they have in place to provide such data.

Invest – explore ways to invest in your staff talent with a focus on gender diversity – in particular diversifying the leadership pool or senior roles.

Seek expert advice – obtain legal advice to ensure compliance with the regulations. For example, what data protection issues arise, how can issues of equal pay or discrimination be best addressed, etc.

Do you have an employment law question?

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