Men and women will soon have the right to know if they are being paid differently based on gender.
Employers will have to show the differences in the pay of male and female staff under the Government’s proposed gender pay gap legislation, due to be published in the coming weeks.
Any differences in the pay of male and female employees, including the nature and scale of such differences, will have to be made public, according to plans by Minister of State for Equality David Stanton.
The new regulations will initially be phased in as mandatory for companies with 250 people or more.
After that, the threshold will likely be reduced to 150 employees after two years, and to 50 – as in the Programme for Government – a year later.
“We want to take the issue of gender pay inequality seriously,” said a Government spokesperson.
Both wings of Government, the Independents and Fine Gael, say they are “committed” to ending gender pay disparity.
Part of the object of the proposals is to ensure that for the first time, the Government will have real-time information about the gender pay gap, and can act accordingly.
Employers will be required to publish information in relation to the difference between the average hourly pay of male employees and that of female employees. They will also be required to disclose the difference between the bonus pay of male and female employees.
The law will apply to the pay of part-time employees and those on temporary contracts.
The bill is due to come before Cabinet later this month and the legislation should be before the Houses later his year.
The Department of Justice will carry out inspections to ensure enforcement of the new legislation.
Officials will be able to enter any place of work or premises, inspect and take copies of or remove records, and require management to give information and assistance or answer questions, or examine persons under caution.
The regulations apply also to Government departments, An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces where gender pay gap information for each of the organisations will be made public.
This legislation has support from the ICTU trade union, as well as employers group Ibec and is broadly in line with a Labour Party Private Members’ Bill.
It emerged last summer that RTE News host Sharon Ní Bheoláin was being paid between €60,000 and €80,000 less than her then co-anchor, Brian Dobson, on the flagship news show of the national broadcaster.
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