Ireland Looks To Curb Gender Pay Gap 

Ireland Looks To Curb Gender Pay Gap
17 April 2019

Employers with more than 50 employees would have to publish annual information on their gender pay gap and implement measures to reduce that gap, under the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2019 pending in the Irish parliament. If approved, the bill could be implemented later in 2019, with the first reports due in 2020 or 2021 for organizations with 250 or more employees. The law would extend to employers with 150 or more employees two years later and to firms with 50 or more employees after three years.

Highlights of the Bill

Here are several key requirements proposed in the bill:

  • Employers would have to report the mean and median hourly and bonus payments to full-time and part-time male and female employees. The report would have to show the percentage of male and female employees who received bonuses and benefits-in-kind. The regulations could require employers to publish pay differences between male and female workers on temporary contracts and to break out gender pay data for each of four pay quartiles (lower, lower-middle, upper-middle and upper quartiles) or by job classification.
  • Employers would have to publish a narrative that includes the reasons for the gender pay differences and any measures taken or proposed to eliminate those gaps.
  • Designated enforcement officers or inspectors could enter employers’ premises and obtain necessary information. The Irish Human Rights Commission could ask courts to order an employer’s compliance. The commission also could review a particular employer’s or industry sector’s compliance or require that an organization or sector conduct such a review and prepare and implement an equality plan.
  • Employees could make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) about their employer’s noncompliance with the law, and the WRC could order the employer to comply. The bill doesn’t include any requirements for paying compensation to employees or government fines.
  • Ministerial regulations would specify how to calculate organization’s workforce size; which employers, employees and pay elements to include in the gender pay gap audit; and what format to use for publishing the gender pay data and accompanying narrative.

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