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Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2019

Earlier this month the Government published the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2019 (the Bill) aiming to ultimately reduce the gender pay gap in Ireland. It is seen as a welcome step forward in achieving this aim as Irish employers are currently under no obligation to report on the pay gap.

The Bill, in amending the Employment Equality Act 1998, allows the Minster for Justice and Equality to introduce regulations which will require employers (in the public and private sector) to publish and report their gender pay gap. This will require employers to calculate both the ‘mean’ and the ‘median’ figures for both male and female employees.

The ‘mean’ is calculated by adding up all of the wages of employees in a company and dividing that figure by the number of employees. The ‘median’ is the number that falls in the middle of a range when everyone’s wages are lined up from smallest to largest and is more representative when there is a lot of variation in pay.

Under the Bill the key requirements for employers will be to report on the differences in the following:

  1. the mean and the median hourly remuneration of male and female employees.
  2. the mean and the median bonus remuneration of male and female employees.
  3. the mean and the median hourly remuneration of part-time male and female employees.
  4. the mean and the median bonus remuneration of part-time male and female employees.
  5. the percentage of male and female employees who received bonuses and benefits in kind.

In addition, employers will be required to publish, concurrently with the above gender pay gap information, the reasons for such differences and the measures taken or proposed (if any) to be taken by the employer to remove or reduce such differences.

Initially, under the proposed legislation, mandatory reporting will only affect employers with 250+ employees, the scope is then narrowed to employers with 150+ employees after 2 years from the institution of these regulations and to employers with 50+ employees after 3 years.

The Bill further provides that the regulations may also prescribe any or a combination of the following:

  1. the classes of employer, employee and remuneration to which the regulations apply
  2. how the number of employees that an employer has is to be calculated
  3. how the remuneration or classes of remuneration of employees is to be calculated
  4. the form and manner in which information is to be published, together with the frequency of publication (which will not be required more than once per year).

In relation to enforcement, the Bill proposes a number of measures to ensure compliance, namely:

The Minister for Justice and Equality, stated recently:

 “The aim of this Bill is to provide transparency on the gender pay gap. I believe firms which can report a low or non-existent pay gap will be at an advantage in recruiting future employees and I hope mandatory reporting will incentivise employers to take measures to address the issue insofar as they can”

It remains to be seen whether the proposed legislation will indeed have an impact on the gender pay gap in Ireland which currently stands at 13.9%. 

Link: https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/bill/2019/30/eng/initiated/b3019d.pdf

30th April 2019

Anne O’Connell


Fitzwilliam Hall

Fitzwilliam Place

Dublin 2


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