The Gender Pay Gap Information Bill has passed all stages of the legislative process in houses of the Oireachtas

On 7 July 2021, the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill passed all stages of the legislative process in houses of the Oireachtas and now awaits the President’s signature to become law. The Bill envisages that employers with 250+ employees will be required to report and publish their Gender Pay Gap data. This threshold will subsequently drop to employers with 150+ employees after two years of the relevant regulations and drop again to employers of 50+ employees within three years. It will amend the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015.

Back in 2019, Charles Flanagan, the previous Minister for Justice and Equality, commented that the aim of the Bill is to “provide transparency on the gender pay gap” and expressed a hope that mandatory reporting will “incentivise employers to take measures to address the issue insofar as they can”.

Employers will need to publish information including the difference in male and female remuneration expressed as:

  • Mean and median hourly remuneration for full-time and part-time
  • Mean and median bonus remuneration
  • Percentage of all employees who have received a bonus or benefits in kind

This information will need to be published on their publically accessible government website which will bring Ireland in line with the United Kingdom which introduced mandatory reporting back in 2017.

When the regulations are introduced, they may, but are not required to, prescribe details of the following:

  • The class of employer, employee, and pay to which the regulations apply
  • How the remuneration of employees is to be calculated
  • The form, manner, and frequency in which information is to be published
  • The difference between the mean and median hourly pay of temporary male and female workers
  • The percentage of employees in each of the four quartiles who are male and female
  • The publication of information by reference to job classifications

Non-compliance will be enforced by either the Human Rights and Equality Commission who will be granted the power to apply to the Circuit Court for an order directing compliance or by the Workplace Relations Commission.

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, commented that "pay transparency on its own will not end the pay disparity between men and women but it is an important further step on the road to equality”.

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