Government to launch public consultation on gender pay gap

Decision follows controversies over pay at RTÉ and BBC

The Government is to launch a public consultation and conduct wage surveys to tackle the gender pay gap in the public and private service.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald will on Wednesday outline the details of the consultation, which will be open from August 14th,

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 announcement follows controversies over the gender pay gap in the BBC and RTÉ.

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 Minister for Justice 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.

Clearer understanding

“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.”

Figures released this year show the gender pay gap in Ireland is 13.9 per cent, below the European average of 16.7 per cent.

The Government has committed to undertaking a package of measures to tackle the gender pay gap.

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.