As the law currently stands, no gender pay gap reporting obligations exist for Irish employers. However, the principle of equal pay for equal work has been enshrined in law for a long time. Despite these longstanding legal prohibitions on discrimination in relation to pay, evidence suggests that significant differences remain in the rates of pay of men and women doing the same work. For this reason, the Cabinet has agreed the text of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill, as part of a range of measures aimed at reducing the gender pay gap and promoting wage transparency. The Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2019 would require the Minister, as soon as reasonably practicable after the commencement of the legislation, to make regulations requiring employers to publish information relating to the pay of their employees for the purpose of showing whether there are differences in such pay referable to gender and, if so, the size of such differences.
The information which must be published by employers under the regulations includes the following:
- the difference between both the mean and the median hourly pay of male and female employees;
- the difference between both the mean and the median bonus pay of male and female employees;
- the difference between both the mean and the median hourly pay of part-time male and female employees;
- the percentage of male and female employees who received bonuses and benefits in kind.
In addition, employers will be required to publish, concurrently with the above gender pay gap information, the reasons for such differences and the measures (if any) taken or proposed to be taken by the employer to eliminate or reduce such differences. The regulations will only apply to employers with 250 or more employees in the first two years after introduction. In the third year, the requirements will also apply to employers with 150 or more employees. Thereafter, the requirements will apply to employers with 50 or more employees. The regulations will not apply to employers with fewer than 50 employees.