Gender pay gap bill to be strengthened through government amendments

Gender pay gap bill to be strengthened through government amendments

Roderic O'Gorman

Long-awaited gender pay gap reporting legislation is set to be strengthened through new government amendments.

Ministers yesterday agreed to bring report stage amendments to the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill, which was first published in 2019 but had its progress through the Oireachtas disrupted by the 2020 election.

The amendments will provide for a “more comprehensive definition” of a public body, increased enforcement powers and a provision requiring a review of the functioning of the legislation within four years of its commencement.

Equality Minister Roderic O’Gorman said: “I am delighted that the strengthened Gender Pay Gap Information Bill was approved by Cabinet today. The government is developing a fairer economy, and a key part of that will be continuing to close the gender pay gap.

“The amendments brought to Cabinet today will mean that government departments and agencies will have to report on their own gender pay gap, and establish a stronger role in enforcement for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

“We need to gain 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.”

Tánaiste and Employment Minister Leo Varadkar added: “Equal pay for equal work has been enshrined in Irish law for decades but the reality can be different. Women can face obstacles to promotion and can still face discrimination in companies where remuneration packages are negotiated individually.

“This new law will reveal any disparities that exist at workplace level. It will allow us to recognise companies that truly respect the principle of pay equality as good places to work and enable those that don’t to develop action plans to change their approach.”

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