The Government has confirmed that it will be bringing forward amendments to a bill providing for gender pay gap reporting, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (Gender Pay Gap Information) Bill 2017.
This private members’ bill was introduced by Labour in the Seanad. At a debate in the Seanad on 25 October 2017 David Stanton TD, Minister for State in the Department of Justice and Equality, stated that the Government would be examining the bill with a view to bringing forward amendments.
The Minister stated that in the first instance submissions made as part of the consultation on measures to tackle the gender pay gap will be considered at a symposium planned for 4 December 2017, and that the bill will not be pursued further until the Government brings forward proposals following this consultation process.
The Minister stated:
"A lead-in time would be needed both for the making and administration of a scheme and for employers to gear up to produce the information specified. I take the opportunity to ask all companies, both public and private, to start focusing on this matter now. It is important that all companies, both public and private, do so if they have not already started."
Under Labour’s proposals, the requirement to publish gender pay gap information would not apply to employers with fewer than 50 employees. An employer who contravenes these provisions would be liable to a fine of €5,000.
The information to be published by an employer would include differences between the mean hourly rate of pay, the median hourly rate of pay, mean bonus pay, and median bonus pay paid to male and female employees.
In addition, employers subject to the scheme would be required to report on the proportions of male and female employees who were paid bonus pay, and the proportions of male and female employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.
The above information would be required to be broken down by reference to age and full-time or part-time status.