Government begins public consultation on gender pay gap

Employers, trade unions and members of the public have six weeks to outline their views

RTÉ has hired Kieran Mulvey, former director-general of the Workplace Relations Commission, to provide an independent overview and make recommendations. Photograph: Eric Luke

RTÉ has hired Kieran Mulvey, former director-general of the Workplace Relations Commission, to provide an independent overview and make recommendations. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

The Government’s public consultation and wage surveys to tackle the gender pay gap in the public and private sectors begins today.

Employers, trade unions and members of the public will be given six weeks to outline their views on what can be done to narrow the gap between the earnings of male and female workers.

The public consultation follows controversies over the gender pay gap in the BBC and RTÉ in recent weeks.

The figures from the national broadcaster confirmed only three of the top 10 on-air presenters are women. RTÉ has hired Kieran Mulvey, former director-general of the Workplace Relations Commission, to provide an independent overview and make recommendations.

The public is being invited to take part in a consultation process.

It has been estimated men earn on average 14 per cent more than women in Ireland.

Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan believes the consultation process is and will be much bigger than any one organisation.

Mr Flanagan said the Government was committed to making such financial inequality a thing of the past. The consultation, Mr Flanagan said, was the first in a series of steps it would take to address the matter.

“We need to have a clearer understanding of the factors underpinning the pay gap so that Government action can be properly tailored towards tackling this issue effectively,” he said.

The Government has committed to undertaking a package of measures to address the issue.

Mr Flanagan said there would be a consultation with key stakeholders in the autumn to discuss measures to promote wage transparency.

The Department of Jobs has also requested companies with more than 50 employees to undertake wage surveys, and is also overseeing the development of “practical tools” to enable companies calculate and address the gender pay gap.