RTE’s shocking revelations of Ryan Turbidy’s salary overpayment of €345,000 across five years came to light this week and raised many questions about pay transparency in Ireland.
What is meant by Pay Transparency?
Pay transparency is the practice of openly communicating information about compensation with employees and candidates. Pay transparency can vary within different organisations. While some organisations share all salary data publicly, like RTE, some simply disclose how salaries are determined by each team member. Many employers also share salary ranges so current and prospective employees can understand their earning potential in a given role.
Is there legislation in Ireland surrounding Pay Transparency?
In 2022, the Employment Equality (Pay Transparency) Bill 2022 was put forward as an act to amend the Employment Equality Act 1998 to provide for pay transparency in the advertising of jobs in Ireland. However, the latest update on this bill was in May 2022 and is currently only in the early stages of being processed in the Dail Eireann.
The EU Pay Transparency Directive came into force on 6 June 2023 with EU member states having until 7 June 2026 to transpose its provisions into their national laws. The directive aims to establish pay transparency standards to empower employees to claim their right to equal pay.
The key elements of the Directive include:
- Employers will be obliged to provide information about the initial pay levels or pay ranges in job advertisements or before the interview stage. Furthermore, employers will not be allowed to ask prospective employees about their pay history, including their existing salary. These provisions do not limit the parties’ power to negotiate a salary outside the indicated range.
- Employers will be required to describe the gender-neutral criteria used to define their pay and pay progression to employees. Criteria may include, for example, individual performance, skills development, and/or seniority. The Directive exempts employers with fewer than 50 workers from this obligation.
- Employees will be given a new right to request information from their employer on their individual pay level and average pay levels, broken down by sex, for categories of workers doing the same work or work of equal value.
Does Pay Transparency include Gender Pay Gaps?
Yes, gender pay gaps are a crucial aspect of pay transparency data. The gender pay gap in Ireland is being addressed in Ireland by the Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 which currently measures pay gaps in organisations with more than 250 employees. By 2025, the legislation will apply to employers with 50 or more employees. The legislation will not apply to employers with fewer than 50 employees.
What Happens when Employers, like RTE, are not Pay Transparent?
A lack of pay transparency can heavily impact the relationship between the employer and their entire employee workforce as well as the general public in cases of larger corporations like RTE. The lack of transparency can create issues in the workplace surrounding trust, bias, and resentment which can affect retention, productivity, and morale.