As International Women’s Day was marked around the world yesterday, Labour Senator Ivana Bacik has called for the progression of Labour’s Gender Pay Gap Information Bill.
At around 14%, the pay gap also means that Irish women work for free for around one month of every year, she estimates.
“Despite passing equal pay legislation in Ireland more than 40 years ago, in 1974, women have still not achieved anything close to pay parity with our male colleagues," said the Senator yesterday.
The rate of change in pay levels has become stagnant - over the past 11 years, the pay gap has narrowed by only four percentage points.
“It is high time we now addressed this issue," she added.
“If enacted, the Labour Party’s Gender Pay Gap Information Bill would require medium to large-sized companies to regularly publish wage transparency surveys that would highlight any difference in pay between their male and female workers.
“This has worked in other countries and we believe it will have a significant impact in driving down the gender pay gap here, by shining the spotlight on any gender based pay discrepancies and enabling companies to address and remedy such inequalities where they exist.
“It’s not enough to simply rely on organisations to volunteer this information, legislation is required."
Labour’s Bill passed Committee stage in the Seanad in 2017. "And I have been working with Minister David Stanton on progressing the Bill to Report stage and on into the Dail," she concluded.
“Ireland has made significant strides toward gender equality- but we are not there yet, and in the year when we celebrate the centenary of women's suffrage, we must prioritise tackling our unsustainable gender pay gap."