Ireland: Employers face gender pay gap annual reporting mandate 

July 15, 2021

Employers in Ireland with 50 or more employees will be required to report periodically and publish information on their gender pay gap under measures amending the Employment Equality Act 1998 that passed the Oireachtas (Ireland’s parliament) on 7 Jul 2021. Reporting obligations will be phased-in, likely starting in 2022 for employers with 250 or more employees, two years after publication of the regulations for employers with 150 or more employees, and three years after publication of the regulations for employers with 50 or more employees.  Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to report. The government confirmed that upcoming regulations will give effect to the measures, and will be in force by the end of 2021.


  • Employers will have to prepare gender pay gap reports that include information on the difference in male and female remuneration — specifically, identifying gender differences in the mean and median hourly remuneration of full- and part-time employees, mean and median bonus payments, and the percentage of employees paid a bonus or benefits-in-kind.
  • Employers will have explain the reasons for the gender differences and describe any measures — proposed or implemented — to eliminate or reduce the gender pay gap. Employers will have to publish their pay analysis and narrative on a central government website.
  • Regulations are likely to prescribe any one of or any combination of the following: the classes of employer, employee and pay covered by the regulations, the method for calculating the size of an organization’s workforce, and the form and frequency of information to be published. The regulations could also require organizations to provide gender pay gap information on their temporary workforce, and the percentage of male and female employees by quartile pay bands or job classification. 
  • The Workplace Relations Commission will be responsible for investigating complaints about employers’ compliance, and could order employers to take action. The Irish Human Rights Commission could initiate, or instruct a particular organization or group to carry out an equality review, and prepare and implement an equality plan.
  • The government will review the law four years after its effective date. 

Several details are unclear — for example, the publication date of the first gender pay reports is unknown. However, employers should prepare by determining if they have a gender pay gap, the reasons for the gap, and their actions to address it. 

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