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Female boss paid €97,000 less than male colleague wins case at Workplace Relations Commission

The WRC adjudication officer determined that the GM was discriminated against on the grounds of gender.

Image: RollingNews.ie

A FEMALE BOSS who was paid €97,666 less than a male colleague over a 15-month period has won her action for equal pay.

This follows the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) ordering the General Manager’s former employer, a company engaged in the wholesale purchase and sale of video games, to pay her the €97,666 in arrears under the Employment Equality Act.

WRC Adjudication Officer, Brian Dalton determined that the GM was discriminated against on the ground of gender and her entitlement to equal pay, based on the absence of transparency relating to pay determination at the un-named company.

Dalton stated that the video game sales distributor has failed to provide an adequate explanation for the difference in remuneration for the relevant 15 month period between the female GM and her male comparator.

The male comparator, a marketing executive contractor, was paid €14,000 per month, or €168,000 per annum, by the company.

In comparison, during an 11 month period from January to November 2018, the female GM received monthly pay, including a commission, of €7,970.

Dalton determined that the woman was paid €7,834 less per month over a four-month period than her male comparator and €6,030 less per month for an 11-month period.

The woman was appointed GM of the business in September 2017 on a basic salary of €69,000.

She told the WRC that her work was of equal value to the male marketing executive contractor, yet remunerated significantly less for the work she performed.

The GM told the WRC that during the period January 2018 to July 2018 she completed €5.24 million in sales.

The male executive contractor was primarily involved in sales and marketing while the female GM had responsibility for governance; Revenue relationship; overall company oversight and accountability; day to day management of the company at all levels and direct liaison with owner concerning all key business to business relationships, decisions, sales and profit performance

On 4 October, 2018 the GM gave notice to her employer of her intended resignation because she was underpaid for the responsibilities she was expected to carry out.

The newly hired male executive contractor left the company during October 2018 and in a bid to hold onto the services of the female GM, the company offered her in November 2018 a €135,000 basic salary, 7% commission on gross profit excluding deals made by the owner and a retrospective payment of €50,000.

However, the GM terminated her employment on 30 November. The woman presented her own case against her former employer at a recent one day hearing of the WRC while the company was legally represented by a barrister and a solicitor.

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Dalton stated that new terms offered in November “tends to show that the company at that time accepted that the complainant was underpaid when compared to the comparators”.

Dalton stated that only when the GM handed in her notice of resignation was any serious attempt made to address the factual inequity in her remuneration and the absence of any transparency in pay determination in relation to the male comparators – an inequity she attributed to discrimination based on gender.

The company denied her claims.

Dalton found that while evidence was given principally based on the job duties to justify the difference in pay between the contractor and the GM, “I have determined that they do not reasonably explain the difference and adequately provide a transparent and objective explanation to demonstrate how the remuneration for the marketing/sales comparator was determined and so markedly different for the work that he performed when compared to the work being performed by the GM, who was the most senior executive in the company”.

In relation to the female GM’s separate pay discrimination claim concerning the pay made to the previous male GM, Mr Dalton found that the complainant was not discriminated against on the ground of gender as the previous GM had performed work of greater value.

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Gordon Deegan

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