The Government says changes approved yesterday (30 March) to the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill will address enforcement issues in the proposed legislation.
Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, said he had received Cabinet approval to introduce the amended bill in the Dáil.
The bill was originally published in April 2019, but it lapsed with the dissolution of the Dáil in 2020, before being restored to the order paper later that year.
If approved, the legislation would initially require employers with 250 or more workers to publish pay differences between female and male employees, including any bonuses. This will be expanded over time to apply to organisations with 50 or more employees.
The bill gives the minister the power to specify the detail of this by making a regulation.
The Government says the changes provide a more comprehensive definition of a public body, to ensure that the bill’s provisions apply individually to all public bodies.
They also give the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) the power to make an application to the High Court for an enforcement order where this is warranted.
There will be a review of how the legislation is working within four years of its coming into effect.
Minister O’Gorman (pictured) said we needed an accurate understanding of the gender pay gap to help address the root causes of the gender pay disparity between men and women.
“This bill, once implemented, will bring us another step forward in achieving a more equal society for everyone,” he said.
The unadjusted gender pay gap in Ireland was 14.4% in 2017, the most recent year for which official statistics are currently available.
Earlier this month, the EU Commission published proposals for binding pay transparency measures. The Government says these provisions will be reviewed in the context of the new bill.