Women bore brunt of great recession

mindthegapThe number of women working in the Irish public service fell by 7.8% between 2008 and 2015 – compared to 3.7% of male employees – according to international public service trade union federation EPSU. In a new video produced to acknowledge International Women’s Day today, EPSU says women also bore the brunt of pay cuts across Europe during the great recession, especially in health and social services.

The gender pay gap in Ireland is almost 15% – better than the European average of 17.5%, but still too high.

IMPACT has called for new laws to require employers to reveal the gender pay gap in their organisations. The union says a Programme for Government commitment to requiring companies with more than 50 staff to undertake wage surveys is not ambitious enough, and that a requirement on employers to publish their record would increase the incentive to address the gender pay gap.

Echoing EPSU’s call that ‘women need a pay rise,’ IMPACT is also participating in the Irish trade union campaign for a substantial increase in the national minimum wage. Three-quarters of minimum wage earners in Ireland are female.

The minimum wage is currently set at €9.25 an hour, while the living wage – the amount you need to earn to afford the basics of life – has been estimated at €11.50.