The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has teamed up with the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) to jointly demand that the Government commits to passing the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill before Christmas. The legislation has effectively stalled, making no progress since before the Dáil’s summer recess.
The bill would compel employers to report on the gender pay gap – the difference in the average pay of male and female staff – in their organisations. It would also require reporting on differences in bonus pay, part-time pay and the pay of men and women on temporary contracts.
Fórsa has been at the forefront of the trade union campaign for legislation on gender pay gap reporting, which it says would encourage employers into tangible action to bridge the gap. The union has criticised the slow pace of the legislative process.
NWCI director Orla O’Connor said the proposed legislation would properly shine a spotlight on organisations’ pay imbalance for the first time.
“The gender pay gap of 13.9% in Ireland has serious implications for a woman’s lifetime earnings, her life and career decisions and her ability to live in older years with a decent income. The experience from other countries shows that harder measures are needed to combat pay inequality.
“While this legislation in and of itself will not close the gender pay gap, it is an extremely important step and one which needs to be implemented with haste,” she said.
David Joyce of ICTU believes that the bill can also advance Ireland’s commitment to the United Nation’s sustainable development goals.
“Government appointed both Congress and the NWCI to be sustainable development goal champion organisations. Goal five concerns achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, while goal eight commits to decent work for all. Therefore, we will continue to campaign for decent work and equality for all women and men in Ireland and beyond,” he said.