New plan will force companies to reveal gender pay gap data

The Labour Party says its Gender Pay Gap Information Bill has now received cross-party support

New plan will force companies to reveal gender pay gap data

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik, 24-05-2017. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

Irish companies may soon have to publish the difference in earnings between their male and female employees.

The Labour Party has said its Gender Pay Gap Information Bill has now received cross-party support.

If enacted, the bill would oblige larger companies to publish transparent gender pay data - highlighting any existing gender-based pay discrepancies

The bill passed Committee stage in the Seanad this evening.

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik said the new regulations could now become a reality early next year:

“The bill would seek to drive down the existing pay gap in Ireland which is at 13.9% - almost 14% - meaning that women in Ireland effectively work for free for one month every year,” she said.

“So the bill would require employers of 50 or more staff to publish wage transparency surveys or schemes which would outline differentials between men and women in any organisation.”

She said similar legislation is already in force in Belgium – where the gender pay gap has been reduced to less than 7%.

"Our Bill doesn’t claim to be a ‘quick-fix’ solution to eradicating the gender pay gap, but if enacted, will certainly go a long way toward driving down any gender-based pay discrepancies,” she said.

Equal pay legislation has been in effect in Ireland for over 40 years, yet Senator Bacik warned “women have still not achieved anything close to pay parity with our male colleagues.”

"It’s time to close the gender pay gap and show we are serious about creating an Ireland of true equals," she said.

She said the new gender pay bill can “shine a light on any gender based wage differences and move toward closing the gap completely.”