Senator Erin McGreehan
Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan has welcomed Cabinet’s approval to amend the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill and to introduce the strengthened Bill at Report Stage in Dáil Éireann.
Senator McGreehan commented, “This is very welcome news, and I raised this issue recently in the Seanad. How can a society thrive if women and men are not paid at equal rates.
“We must create equity. Equity means recognising the glorious differences by creating fairness and a new normal so we can all achieve the same outcome. The gender pay gap is part of this inequity.
“In general, women in Ireland earn 14.4% less than their male counterparts.
"This is a critical issue and the pandemic has highlighted pay inequalities harshly. For example, in the earlier waves of job losses, female workers accounted for more than half of all pandemic unemployment payment, PUP, claims.
“I am delighted to see Government address this and rectify the gender pay gap.”
The Gender Pay Gap Information Bill was originally published in April 2019 and lapsed with the dissolution of the Dáil in 2020, before being restored to the Order Paper later that year.
Once implemented, the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill will require employers over a certain size to publish pay differences between female and male employees, including any bonuses.
The Bill provides a regulation-making power to the Minister through which the detail of this can be specified.
The proposed Report Stage amendments will strengthen the Bill by: providing a more comprehensive definition of a public body to ensure that the provisions of the Bill will apply individually to all public bodies; addressing enforcement issues in the legislation, including by providing expanded power to IHREC to make an application to the High Court for an enforcement order where warranted; and requiring a review of the functioning of the legislation before the 4th anniversary of its commencement.