The Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021
Ireland Gender Pay Gap Requirements
In 2022, SD Worx, formerly Intelligo, released the inaugural Irish Payroll Report in collaboration with the Irish Payroll Association (IPASS). Interestingly, one of the key findings of the report was that 46% of respondents were unaware of upcoming Gender Pay Gap requirements.
Gender Pay Gap legislation was signed into Irish law on July 13th, 2021. While many companies have already been reporting on their Gender Pay Gap status voluntarily, the Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 will make it obligatory for every state body and a large number of private sector companies to report and publish information on their Gender Pay Gap. Firms covered by the legislation will also be required to explain any existing gender pay gaps and the strides being taken to reduce them.
What is the Gender Pay Gap?
The Gender Pay Gap is the difference in the average hourly wage of women and men across the workforce. It compares all working women and men with similar working patterns or similar competencies, qualifications, or experience, not just those in similar jobs.
Who is it relevant to?
Gender Pay Gap reporting will initially apply to companies with 250 or more employees. This employee threshold will reduce over time to 150 employees or more (within two years) and 50 or more (within a further year). A brief overview of the Act can be found in this press release, while the full Act as it currently stands can be found here.
What information needs to be reported?
Employers identified above will be required to report on the difference in remuneration between women and men including:
- The difference between both the mean and median hourly pay
- The difference between both the mean and median bonus
- The difference between both the mean and median hourly pay of part-time
- The percentage of male versus female employees who received bonuses and benefits in kind
- The reasons for differences in pay and the strides (if any) being taken or proposed to reduce such differences in the future
What if a company decides not to comply?
The act includes several measures to tackle non-compliance, including the facility to apply for an order from the Circuit Court or Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) compelling an employer to comply.
What actions should employers take?
While the implementation date for the new requirements is not known at this stage, employers can prepare for gender pay gap reporting by understanding what must be reported. This can be done by identifying any equal pay risks or other issues giving rise to gaps in your company, and by preparing realistic initiatives to address any issues identified. Information on the subject gleaned from documents such as the Mind The Gap Report by IBEC will prove very useful in formulating new programmes.
Gender Pay Gap reporting is an ideal opportunity to use payroll data to better understand workplace gaps and form strategies not only to overcome those gaps, but to enhance hiring and staff retention efforts generally. Having the right payroll system in place to produce relevant reports is a crucial part of this human resource management (HRM) process.
The information in this article is believed to be accurate as at the date of publication. However, this information has been provided in good faith and without warranty of any kind. SD Worx, formerly Intelligo, does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality or reliability of this information. Information of this nature may be subject to regulatory change and/or clarification by government bodies so please always check official government documentation for any updates or changes that may occur beyond the date of publication and consult your professional adviser for legal or other advice.