The Seanad will debate a major bill on the Gender Pay Gap next week


A Labour Party gender pay gap reporting Bill will be introduced in the Senate on Wednesday next week.

A submission from the Irish Women's Council of Ireland found that on average, childless women earn 17 per cent less than men, while working mothers earn 14 per cent less than their male counterparts. 

IMPACT Trade Union has outlined a few ways why the passing of the proposed Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2017 will be the right measure to tackle the gender pay gap

'1. Gender Pay Equality Seal of Approval: Knowing an organisation’s gender pay gap statistics will change how people look for work.

Imagine you’re a young female graduate scrolling through ads on a jobs website. In a world where pay gap reporting is the law, that jobs website could put a ‘gender pay equality badge’ beside certain employers’ names. Like a blue tick on Twitter, these little seals of approval could help navigate people through the confusing landscape that is the job hunt. 

2. Competing to Pay You Better: Peer pressure is a powerful force. If firms’ pay gaps are public knowledge, those organisations are incentivised to compete with each other in order to narrow their pay disparities and, thereby, attract and retain the best female talent.

3. Knowledge is Power: If you’re a woman on her way into a salary negotiation, knowing your employer’s gender pay gap is a really valuable piece of information. It gives you a sense of where on the ladder you’re likely to be.

4. Running With the Right Crowd: Being able to see various companies’ pay gaps will help Government make tendering decisions and help firms make choices about who to engage as suppliers. Government and companies would be able to decide not to work with firms whose pay gaps are too large. This creates additional pressure on organisations to reduce their gender pay gaps.

5. It’s Achievable: This is a realistic measure. It’s both of benefit to workers and pragmatically achievable for employers.

Any firm with more than 50 employees is likely to have some kind of payroll software. It shouldn't’t take more than a few minutes using even the most basic payroll programmes to calculate a gender pay gap. 

6. Canary in the Coalmine: The pay gap is a single, simple metric that encapsulates a lot of complexity. Like a canary in a coal mine, publishing it will help companies measure the success (or otherwise) of any other workplace policies around gender.

If the headline pay gap figure goes in the right direction, then something is working; if it doesn’t, then it’s not. The overall number will also help companies benchmark themselves against other employers over time.

7. Symbolic Gesture: Introducing gender pay gap reporting would represent an important symbolic gesture towards gender equality in Ireland at a time when we really need it. It’s important that our elected officials demonstrate a commitment to the principles of gender equality now more than ever.'

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