Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, today announced that Cabinet has agreed the text of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2018.
There are two draft pieces of legislation going through the Houses of the Oireachtas seeking to tackle the issue of the gender pay gap. The first, a private members bill entitled the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (Gender Pay Gap Information) Bill 2017
(the “Private Members Bill”), was introduced in the Seanad in May of 2017 and is currently at Third Stage before the Dáil.
On 8 March 2019, the Government published the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2018
(the “Government Bill”) which it is expected will take precedence. The Government Bill sets out that employers must publish information relating to the gender pay gap. The Government Bill provides that employers with less than 250 employees are not required to publish the information until 2 years post-commencement; and for employers with less than 150 employees, until 3 years post-commencement. The Government Bill does not apply to employers with less than 50 employees.
The Government Bill sets out that employers must publish information relating to;
- the differences between the in the mean and median hourly pay and the mean and median bonus pay of male and female employees;
- the differences between the mean and median part-time pay between male and female employees;
- the mean and median pay of male and female employees on temporary contracts;
- the proportions of men and women receiving bonuses and benefits-in-kind; and;
- the number of men and women in each of the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.
The Government Bill envisages reporting of differences in pay with reference to job classifications.
Effective employers need to be aware that this legislation is en route and they should take steps in order to establish what their gender pay gap is at present, why such a gap exists (does it mean that unequal pay practises exist or is there another reason such as the fact that more women are in part-time roles) and whether steps are required to address the gap before being forced to publicly release this data as set out in the Bill.
A copy of the Press Release can be found here