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Legislation requiring companies disclose gender pay gap should be more broadly applicable

Published: Tuesday, April 09, 2019

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today welcomed the publication of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill, but expressed concern that the Bill does not go far enough.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“The Gender Pay Gap Information Bill will, for the first time, require employers to publish statistics on the gender pay gap within an organisation, shining the spotlight on pay imbalances. While this is to be welcomed, the legislation will only initially apply to companies of 250 staff or more and then, on a phased basis, move to companies employing 50 or more staff. NWCI, alongside ICTU, SIPTU, and Fórsa had called on the Bill to apply to employers with 20 or more employees, to ensure that the majority of employees do not fall outside its scope.”  

Orla O’Connor said,
“The legislation does include a welcome requirement for companies to provide a statement alongside their statistics setting out the proposals they will take to remedy the gender pay gap is very welcome  inclusion. The inclusion of a narrative to contextualise the statistics, alongside an Action Plan to eliminate the identified gaps, were strongly advocated for by NWCI during the pre-legislative scrutiny of the proposed legislation.”

Orla O’Connor concluded,
“The gender pay gap of 13.9% in Ireland has serious implications for a woman’s lifetime earnings, her life and career decisions and her ability to live in older years with a decent income. The experience from other countries shows that harder measures are needed to combat pay inequality, and it is very disappointing that this legislation is not more broadly applicable.”


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