What is the current Gender Pay Gap in Ireland?

The Gender Pay Gap is defined as the percentage difference between the average hourly wages of men and women (regardless of their seniority). In Ireland, the Gender Pay Gap currently stands at 14.4%. Rather exceptionally, the 8th November 2021 was marked as ‘Equal Pay Day’, the date on which women in Ireland are effectively working for free, relative to men, for the remainder of the year according to research from WorkEqual.

What is currently being done to reduce the Gender Pay Gap in Ireland?

Ireland’s Gender Pay Gap compares favourably with the UK (17%), US (18%), and Canada (18%), highlighting Ireland is on the right track to reducing the Gender Pay Gap. 

On 13 July 2021, the Irish government introduced gender pay gap reporting as a legal requirement in Ireland. The aim of the legislation is to get employers to report on differences in pay, bonuses, and benefit in kind benefits broken down by gender. Employers will have to explain the reasons identified for the gap and outline the measures they have in place to address it.

How will employers be able to showcase their Gender Pay Gap?

Employers will choose a ‘snapshot’ date of their employees in June 2022 and will report on the hourly gender pay gap for those employees on the same date in December 2022. The reporting date will be the same date in December 2022 as the snapshot date. If an employer chooses a snapshot date of 8 June, the relevant reporting date will be 8 December. This means that employers have six months from the snapshot date to calculate and report their gender pay gap figure. 

The information that employers will be required to publish is set out in the Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021. It includes:

  • the mean and median gap in hourly pay between men and women
  • the mean and median gap in bonus pay between men and women
  • the mean and median gap in hourly pay of part-time male and female employees
  • the mean and median gap in hourly pay of temporary male and female workers
  • the percentage of men and of women who received bonus pay and benefits-in-kind
  • the proportions of male and female employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.

How will the collected information be calculated to determine the Gender Pay Gap?

The methodology to be used to calculate an organisation’s gender pay gap can be summarised as follows:

  • identify all employees as at the chosen snapshot date
  • collate sufficient data to calculate all ordinary pay and bonus elements paid over the prior year
  • convert these amounts to an hourly rate and calculate the gender pay gap and other disclosures
  • analyse the pay gap at entity level
  • conduct further analysis for part-time employees and those with temporary contracts
  • prepare a narrative outlining the causes of any gender pay gap and any actions being taken to address it.

Do all organisations have to partake?

The upcoming pay gap requirements will initially apply to organisations with 250 or more employees but will extend over time to organisations with 50 or more employees. It will apply to the public and private sector.