Just two weeks before a new bill will be brought before the Seanad on gender pay equality, IBEC is now calling for mandatory gender pay gap reporting to be introduced for large Irish companies.
IIBEC's announcement comes as Senator Ivana Bacik prepares to bring Labour’s Gender Pay Gap Bill before the Seanad for debate at Committee Stage in two weeks’ time.
Labour's Gender Pay Gap Bill, which we will be debating in the Seanad on October 25th, goes further than IBEC’s suggestion however, and moves to require companies of 50 or more workers to regularly publish details of the mean and median incomes of men and women in their workplaces.
This will also capture areas such as bonus payments where we know significant gender gaps exist.
“We need to legislate for this because it’s not enough to hope that companies will simply volunteer this information," Senator Bacik tells us.
She points out that this has "already worked" in countries such as Belgium, which has a relatively low pay gap of 6.6 per cent.
Recent revelations over a lack of women on the top ten earners at RTÉ, as well as issues surrounding pay transparency have shone a welcome light on the gender pay gap in Ireland.
“But this is not just an RTÉ issue and exists in many industries, such as Financial Services and Sales for example, which have estimated pay gaps of around 29 and 23 per cent respectively," adds Senator Bacik.
“It’s time that Ireland moved toward gender proofing our workplaces- and gender pay gap reporting is a good place to start."
Welcoming IBEC's announcement, Senator Bacik says: "It’s great to see key business groups like IBEC come out in support of mandatory gender pay gap reporting, and shows the tide is beginning to turn on an acceptance of gender inequality in the workplace.
“Labour has said for some time that there are a number of reasons behind the fact Irish women are paid around 14 per cent less than men, but by requiring companies to regularly carry out wage transparency reviews, we believe it will ensure the issue remains in the spotlight and help to narrow the pay gap over time."