Government to make employers reveal gender pay gaps

Women are paid 14% less than men, up from 12% in 2014, according to CSO figures

RTÉ presenter Sharon Ní Bheoláin said she was paid ‘considerably less’ than Bryan Dobson

RTÉ presenter Sharon Ní Bheoláin said she was paid ‘considerably less’ than Bryan Dobson

 

Companies will be obliged to detail the difference in pay for male and female employees, under new plans being considered by the Government.

The proposals would require firms in both the public and private sectors to detail any discrepancies in hourly pay, bonuses and the pay of part-time workers in an annual report.

Those that do not comply with the legislation will be sanctioned and could potentially be subject to significant fines or Circuit Court compliance orders.

The legislation will also include provision for personnel from the Workplace Relations Commission to conduct on-site inspections to ensure compliance or gather information.

Recent figures from the Central Statistics Office show women are paid 14 per cent less than men.

The figures from 2014 are based on gross hourly earnings, and compare with a 12 per cent difference between men and women’s pay in 2012.

Employers would be required to publish information on pay for employees every year to show if there is a gender pay gap in the company

The measures by Minister for Equality David Stanton will be brought to Cabinet in a number of weeks for approval. It is expected the law would be introduced over a phased basis and would initially apply to larger employers with 250 or more staff.

However, this would be reduced over time to include more organisations and eventually would apply to all firms in the public and private sector.

Employers would be required to publish information on pay for employees every year to show if there is a gender pay gap in the company.

The information will be outlined on an annual basis in a company report or through a yearly statement.

It would examine the breakdown of male and female employees in the lower, middle and upper bands, the accessibility of benefits in kind, and also outline the difference in full and part-time pay.

There is also provision to break the information down by job classification.

In relation to the public service, the details would broken down by organisation.

The proposals are borne from a consultation held by the Department of Justice and Equality in the wake of controversies surrounding the discrepancies between pay for male and female employees at the BBC and the national broadcaster RTÉ.

The current Programme for Government includes commitments to reduce the gender pay gap, including plans to force companies to reveal internal pay differences. A public consultation on the issue took place last August with the summary of responses received published earlier this year.

These proposals were borne from that discussion. It is understood the figures from each company will provide a national picture on the size of the gender pay gap.