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02 Jun, 2022

Preparing for Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Last year, the Oireachtas enacted new legislation requiring specific organisations to publish information on their gender pay gap. This June employers need to begin preparations.

While this reporting initially only affects public and private organisations with at least 250 employees, it will be rolled out as follows for companies with;

           > 150 employees in 2024

            >  50 employees in 2025

Eurostat data published earlier this year suggests that in 2020 the average EU gender pay gap was 13% which means that women earn on average 13% less per hour than men; however, there are significant differences across the member states. In Ireland, the gap is thought to be slightly below the EU average.

So, what is the gender pay gap?

Employers are sometimes confused about the difference between equal pay and the gender pay gap. Under equality legislation, employers must provide equal pay to men and women if their work is the same or broadly similar. 

However, a company providing equal pay to its employees can still have a gender pay gap if there is a percentage difference between the average hourly earnings of the men and women it employs—for example if the female employees are in less senior roles than their male colleagues. So, the gender pay gap is also about gender representation. 

 

How should SMEs prepare for the new regulations?

When Ireland’s Gender Pay Gap Information Act comes into effect, employers in the affected public and private companies will be required to publish details of the gender pay gap in their organisation. 

Companies affected by the new regulations need to start preparing now. The first step is to choose a snapshot date this June. Your reporting deadline will be 6 months after that date, in December 2022. If your snapshot date is the 24th of June 2022, you will need to report by the 24th of December 2022.  The reporting period is the 12-month period immediately preceding and including the snapshot date. 

The information in your report must include the mean and median hourly wage gap for full and part-time employees and employees on temporary contracts, data on bonuses paid, and a breakdown of male and female employees in the lower, lower-middle, upper-middle and upper quartile pay bands.  Guidance on calculating the gender pay gap metrics is available here

Employers will also have to publish a statement explaining the reasons for the gender pay gap in their company and what measures are being taken to eliminate it.