On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2022, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, (the Minister) announced details of the long-awaited gender pay gap (GPG) reporting regime in Ireland. The Minister will publish the necessary regulations to implement the reporting regime in the coming weeks.
The Minister indicated that employers with 250 or more employees will be required to report on their GPG in 2022. Employers will be required to choose a ‘snapshot’ date in June 2022 of their employees and report on the GPG for those same employees in December 2022.
The Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 (the Act) was signed into law on 13 July 2021 although it is not yet in force. The Act provides the legislative basis for GPG reporting in Ireland. The aim of the Act and underlying regulations is to provide greater transparency on the GPG in Ireland and to incentivise employers to introduce remedial measures.
The GPG report should show an organisation’s information on remuneration, including:
- the mean and median gap in hourly pay between men and women, both full and part time
- the mean and median gap in bonus pay between men and women
- the percentage of men and of women who received bonus pay and benefits-in-kind
- the proportions of male and female employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.
Employers will also be required to publish a statement outlining the reasons, in their opinion, for the GPG and the measures they will take or which they propose to take to eliminate or narrow the GPG (the Statement).
Do all employers have to comply?
As noted above, employers with 250 or more employees will be required to comply with the obligations under the Act once it comes into force. GPG reporting will be extended in 2024 to employers with 150 or more employees and in 2025 to employers with 50 or more employees.
The Minister announced that the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth will issue guidance for employers on how to calculate the GPG. The Minister also indicated that he plans to develop an online reporting system for employers for the 2023 reporting cycle.
What is the result of non-compliance?
If an employer falling within the scope of the Act does not comply with its obligations to report, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission may seek an order from the Circuit Court or the High Court requiring an employer to comply with its obligations.
In addition, an employee may submit a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in respect of their employer’s failure to comply with its obligations to report. The WRC can direct an employer to take certain action to comply with its reporting obligations.
What steps should an Employer take now?
Employers with 250 or more employees should begin calculating their GPG. These employers should also consider what measures they are taking or intend to take to reduce the GPG for the purposes of preparing the Statement. It may be beneficial for employers to examine the UK GPG reporting regime as there are likely to be many similarities between the manner in which the Irish and UK GPG regimes operate.