Ibec and unions working on pay gap

PAY GAPThe Irish Congress of Trade Unions and employers’ body Ibec are exploring a common approach to tackling the gender pay gap, with efforts underway to agree a joint proposal on gender pay gap reporting.

IMPACT has been in touch with Ibec for some months now in an effort to allay fears that gender pay gap reporting could put too great a burden on employers. Legislation to compel larger employers to reveal their organisations’ gender pay gap is currently going through the Oireachtas, so far with all-party support.

In a joint opinion piece (see below), IMPACT’s Lughan Deane and Kara McGann of Ibec call for an appropriate methodology for gender gap reporting to be developed. “This has to be one that both generates meaningful and specific data about really-existing gender pay gaps and is designed so as to minimise, as far as is practicable and without compromising the quality of the data produced, the burden of compliance for employers,” they argue.

IMPACT has called for continued cross-party support for the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2017, and says gender pay gap reporting should be introduced in the public sector as an immediate first step. The union has also made two submissions to the Department of Justice and Equality’s consultation process on measures to close the gender pay gap.

OPINION: If done well, pay gap reporting could be a major step

By Lughan Deane and Kara McGann

If well-designed, the introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting in Ireland could represent a positive step towards addressing the gender pay gap.

Gender pay gap reporting has the potential to offer a real diagnostic tool to highlight the particular issues facing distinct organisations, sectors and regions.

Reporting will only be effective, however, if it’s done the right way. An appropriate methodology of reporting must be used. This has to be one that both generates meaningful and specific data about really-existing gender pay gaps and is designed so as to minimise, as far as is practicable and without compromising the quality of the data produced, the burden of compliance for employers.

Ibec and trade unions like IMPACT are committed to endeavouring to achieve the full socio-economic equality of women and girls in Ireland. It’s important in that context to note that addressing the gender pay gap is just one part of that and, equally, that this policy is just one part of addressing the gender pay gap.

There is a myriad of structural, cultural and policy causes for the gender pay gap which themselves need to be directly addressed. This will require action on the part of individuals, employers, trade unions, government and society.

IMPACT, other trade unions and Ibec stand ready to play whatever part they can in tackling gender inequality in the Irish workplace and in wider Irish society.

Lughan Deane works in IMPACT’s Communications Unit.

Dr Kara McGann is senior labour market policy executive with Ibec.