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Gender pay gap reporting is now mandatory in Ireland

15 July, 2021

What is the gender pay gap?

On 13 July 2021, the Irish government introduced gender pay gap reporting as a legal requirement in Ireland.

Gender pay gap is, at its simplest, the difference between the average wages of men and women (regardless of their seniority).

For example, if the majority of lower-paid roles in an organisation are filled by women and the higher paid roles are filled by men, there will be a gender pay gap. This is not to be confused with equal pay which (while connected) is a different issue. Equal pay is about ensuring men and women are paid the same for performing work of equal value.

Even if an employer does not have an equal pay issue, a gender pay gap may still exist.

An aerial photo of the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge in county Antrim, Northern Ireland.

What should employers be doing now?

In order to prepare employers need to:

  • fully understand what is required to be reported
  • ensure that their strategy, processes and systems are ready
  • easily produce the statistical data to ensure accurate reporting

What is Ireland's gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap in Ireland was 14.4% in 2017 (* based on data published by the OECD-Eurostat).

This ranks slightly ahead of the OECD average of 16%.

Ireland compares favourably with the UK (17%), US (18%) and Canada (18%). Taking action to close this gap is now a priority.

Reports to be published

Employers are required to submit the information:

  1. To a designated public body
  2. On their website

What needs to be disclosed?

It is now mandatory for employers to report the pay gap between male and female employees in the following areas:

  • Hourly pay and bonus amounts
  • Pay-band distribution
  • Proportion of employees receiving benefits in kind and bonuses
  • Differences in gender pay by job classification e.g., part-time and temporary contracts etc

Build communications strategy

Whilst it is imperative to accurately report the numbers, it is equally as important to:

  • provide an explanation for the pay gap, and
  • state how the organisation will address the gap

Planning an effective communications strategy and building a carefully thought out message can have a powerful impact for organisations, both with their existing employees and in the marketplace.

Employers will need to ensure that they comply with the relevant data protection provisions when reporting (which can also be done with legal privilege).

What if a company does not comply?

There are several measures to tackle non-compliance and organisations may be forced to comply by an order from the Circuit Court or Workplace Relations Commission.

Positive impact for organisations

When dealt with correctly, gender pay gap reporting can help organisations:

  • attract and retain key talent
  • maintain and improve brand reputation
  • improve future performance and results
  • demonstrate commitment to transparency and diversity and inclusion

Final thoughts

Gender pay gap reporting will be a challenge for Irish employers, particularly in the first years of its implementation. Many expect that the first reporting results will not necessarily be positive for a large number of companies. However, it will provide them with an opportunity to review policies and strategies, consider the challenges faced and actions required to ensure that the gap closes in the coming years.

How we can help

Calculate and review

Calculate and review your gender pay gap using our specially designed gender pay gap data analytics tool.

Prepare

Prepare your organisation for reporting the gender pay gap (i.e., stress testing to identify trends and additional voluntary disclosures you may wish to make, which can be subject to legal privilege).

Develop

Develop your internal and external communications strategy.

Plan

Assist you to plan how to close the gender pay gap and to improve the diversity and inclusion strategy of your organisation.

Contact us

Doone O'Doherty

Partner, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 6593

Aoife Kilmurray

Director, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 6117

Anna Kinsella

Director, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 6171

Stephanie Good

Director, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 5374

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