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Cabinet approves proposed law around highlighting gender pay gap in companies

The regulations will apply to the public as well as the private sector subject to the employment thresholds.

Image: Shutterstock/Lolostock

THE CABINET HAS approved the General Scheme of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill.

It has now been published by Justice and Equality Minister Charlie Flanagan.

If enacted, the Bill would provide that employers with a certain number of employees (which will be set at 50 or more after an initial period of operation for bigger firms) must publish information on the gender pay gap in their firm.

First, the regulations around publishing information will apply to bigger employers with over 250 employees, then to those with over 150 employees, and then to those with over 50.

The regulations will apply to the public as well as the private sector subject to the employment thresholds.

As well as differences in hourly pay, information on differences in bonus pay, part-time pay and pay of men and women on temporary contracts will be among the data which must be published.

Commenting on the Bill, Flanagan said the government was “committed to gender equality”.

“Both the Programme for Government and our Second National Strategy for Women and Girls commits to wage transparency measures to tackle the gender pay gap,” he said.

In this significant year, the centenary of women’s voting rights, I am pleased, along with Minister Stanton, to bring forward these legislative proposals.

The proposed enforcement measures to ensure that companies are complying with the laws include mechanisms a power for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to apply to the Circuit Court for an order requiring an employer to comply with the legislation.

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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