5 August 2021

Gender Pay Gap Reporting Ireland: What you need to know


Ireland’s gender pay gap legislation has now been enacted and signed into law by the president. The gender pay gap legislation will require employers to disclose the pay gap between male and female employees. It will initially impact public and private sector employers with more than 250 employees. It will eventually be extended to organisations with 50 or more employees.

What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly wages of men and women in an organisation, regardless of their seniority.

Gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay; it is a different but connected issue. Equal pay relates to the prohibition of pay differences between men and women for "like work", "work of equal value" or "work rated as equivalent". Such variations are not permitted under Irish law and employers are required to address and resolve this.

Even if an employer does not have an equal pay issue, a gender pay gap may still exist. For example, the majority of lower-paid roles in an organisation may be filled by women. Read on to see how this will impact you and your business.

The Gender pay gap legislation is part of a package of measures announced in the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020. The legislation will become an important aspect of an organisation's diversity and inclusion strategy.

Who is it relevant to?

Gender pay gap reporting will apply to employers with 250 or more employees initially. This limit will reduce to 150 employees or more within two years, and finally, those with 50 or more within a further year. It will apply to the public as well as the private sector.

What needs to be disclosed?

Organisations will need to disclose:

  • pay differences between male and female employees, including hourly pay and bonuses
  • data across a range of working arrangements including part-time and temporary contracts
  • the proportion of male and female employees who receive benefits in kind and bonuses
  • the number of male and female employees across four pay bands
  • there may also be a requirement to publish differences in pay by reference to job classification

Context will be key. Employers will have to set out the reasons for the differences. As well as the measures taken (or proposed) to eliminate the gap or reduce the gender pay gap.

Where is it reported?

Reporting details are not yet available. Employers will be required to submit the information to a designated public body. Also, we expect employers will need to publish details on their website.

What if a company decides not to comply?

The legislation includes several measures to tackle non-compliance. These measures include the facility to apply for an order from the Circuit Court or Workplace Relations Commission compelling an employer to comply.

What actions should employers take?

Five key priorities you should address to prepare for gender pay gap reporting:

  1. Be clear on what must be reported. Put systems in place which can easily produce the statistical data for publication
  2. The deadline for gender pay gap reporting is not yet known but don't wait until the last minute, you should calculate your gender pay gap now. Identify any equal pay risks or other systemic issues giving rise to the gap before it has to be published
  3. Identify initiatives and plans to address the gap
  4. Use data analytics to understand the root causes or why certain groups of staff are especially affected
  5. Begin to craft the narrative of your gender pay gap disclosure and develop your communication plan. This could include sharing and discussing the data internally before going public

Get ready for gender pay gap reporting

How can we help your business to prepare?

With our experience in implementing legislative reporting across Ireland and the UK our solutions can provide the most hassle-free and compliant gender pay gap reporting. We can help you every step of the way and achieve compliance. Contact our experts if you would like more information on the calculating, reporting or addressing your organisation's gender pay gap.

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