Employers to report pay differences between men and women under new Bill

Legislation passed by Dáil will apply to all organisations with 250 or more staff

Minister for Equality Roderic O’Gorman said ‘pay transparency on its own will not end the pay disparity between men and women’. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Minister for Equality Roderic O’Gorman said ‘pay transparency on its own will not end the pay disparity between men and women’. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

 

Employers will have to take “real and substantive action” to reduce gender pay gaps under legislation requiring companies to report annually on pay and bonus differences between men and women.

The Gender Pay Gap Information Bill has been passed by the Dáil following passage earlier this week by the Seanad and now goes to the President for consideration and signature.

Organisations with 250 or more employees will have to publish the pay and bonuses of staff every year. The provisions and will over time be extended to businesses with 50 or more staff and will incrementally apply to smaller firms.

Minister for Equality Roderic O’Gorman said “women have taken the lead in demanding equality but the onus cannot just be on individual women to force these changes”.

Welcoming the passage of the Bill he said “the Government has to play its key role in creating a more equal society and economy”.

Stressing the significance of the legislation Mr O’Gorman said “pay transparency on its own will not end the pay disparity between men and women but it is an important further step on the road to equality”.

The Bill “will provide transparency and accountability for employees. It will demand of employers real and substantive action to reduce any gender pay disparity that exists within their organisation and it will help ensure that workplaces become more equal”.

He believed that “most organisations want to be better employers this legislation can support them in reporting their gender pay gap data, in understanding and most importantly in tasking measures to address it”.

Mr O’Gorman pledged to bring “more progressive legislation” forward in the autumn as he pointed to the Government’s “strong equality agenda as set out in the programme for government”.

“We will continue to support women in the labour market whether in my own department improving childcare affordability, extending breastfeeding rates, parental leave and introducing paid domestic violence leave or wider moves to create a more flexible work week.

“After 18 months of working at home we have a chance to radically re-imagine what work looks like.”