Report reveals extent of gender pay gap at RTÉ

Trade unions are due to be briefed on the report this afternoon

Report reveals extent of gender pay gap at RTÉ

The RTÉ Montrose campus in Donnybrook, Dublin | Image: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

Updated 15.25

A report on pay rates at the State broadcaster RTÉ has found there is an average 4% pay gap in the organisation.

The report, which has been published this afternoon, says this disparity is in favour of men.

The pay gap figure is below the national average of around 14%.

Image: RTE

The report states: "A fair and equitable employer with good terms and conditions of employment for its employees. It equals, and in various cases exceeds, national policy objectives and targets for gender related employment, including corporate targets and objectives.

"There are a number of grades and historical anomalies that require attention within particular divisions; these are capable of resolution over time and with greater transparency."

The report makes several recommendations - including to work towards more streamlined pay grades within the organisation, and to dedicate a section of RTÉ's annual report to the broadcaster's 'initiatives and developments on gender related matters'. 

Dee Forbes, RTÉ's director-general, said she fully takes on board the recommendations made in the report.

She said: "RTÉ is a complex organisation with legacy and historical issues, and with complicated grading structures. There is also a lack of diversity outside of gender, both on and off the air, coupled with restrictions, financial and otherwise, in our ability to recruit new talent.

"I and the executive team will engage seriously and quickly with the recommendations in this report.”

Direct employment contracts

The former head of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), Kieran Mulvey, was commissioned to carry out the review earlier this year.

It looked at full-time staff in RTÉ, full-time equivalent staff and people on employment contracts.

But it does not include people who deal with the organisation on a limited company basis.

File photo of Kieran Mulvey speaking to the media | Image: RollingNews.ie

This has led the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to criticise the report as 'not giving a full picture' of the situation.

It has called for a root and branch review of employment practices and procedures.

Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish Secretary, said: "This was a wasted opportunity because of the limited terms of references given to Kieran Mulvey.

"The terms of reference excluded examination of those engaged on self-employed contracts or engaged through external companies.

"RTÉ requires many journalists to accept self-employed contracts; other people are allowed to establish companies and are represented by agents.

"You cannot comprehensively review employment in RTÉ by looking only at those on direct employment contracts."

The NUJ also says there is a strong gender dimension to many practices - for instance, only employees are entitled to paid maternity leave.

It says "greater clarity" is needed on the criteria used to offer contracts to individuals and on the use of companies.