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Have an opinion on what can be done to narrow the gender pay gap? The government is all ears

A public consultation is opening for submissions on Monday.

Image: Shutterstock/Undrey

THE GOVERNMENT WANTS your opinion on what can be done to narrow the pay gap between men and women.

A public consultation will open for submissions from next Monday 14 August.

Employers, trade unions, educational institutions and members of the public will have six weeks to make submissions on what can be done to narrow the gap between male and female earnings.

The issue has made headlines in recent weeks after the publication of salaries paid to RTÉ and BBC presenters.

A huge controversy erupted in the UK after the publication of fees paid to BBC staff revealed an obvious gender pay-gap among the broadcaster’s high-earners.

Fees paid to RTÉ presenters also come into sharp focus after it was revealed that there are three women in the top-10 earners list and that RTÉ news presenter Sharon Ní Bheoláin earned €60,000 – €80,000 less than her co-anchor Bryan Dobson in 2014.

RTÉ is now conducting a review of ‘role and gender equality’ across the organisation following criticism of its salary structure.

The impact of the gender pay gap means that women earn less over their lifetimes, resulting in lower pensions and a risk of poverty in old age.

Ireland’s gender pension gap (the difference between the amounts paid to men and women) is 37%.

That’s the 6th highest in the European Union, compared to an EU 28 average of 38%, according to the most recent figures from 2012.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald; Minister for Justice and Equality, Charles Flanagan; and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration David Stanton, announced the plans today.

Following the consultation, the government plans on meeting with all of the key stakeholders on the gender pay gap in the autumn. Minister Flanagan said:

We need to have a clearer understanding of the factors underpinning the pay gap so that government action can be properly tailored towards tackling this issue effectively.

The Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said, “We need the hard data on what is happening in different sectors of the economy so as to influence individuals and employers in career choices.”

This consultation will take place in conjunction with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, which will coordinate the engagement with the private sector, including wage surveys.

Read: 16%: Ireland’s gender pay gap between male and female managers in 2014>

Read: RTÉ’s top-10 earners list has three women and Tubridy on top>

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