On 7 July 2021, the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2019 was passed by both houses of the Oireachtas and is due to be signed into law by the President before the end of the year. The legislation will require organisations to report on the pay differences between female and male employees, including any bonuses.

Much has happened since the Bill was first published and this could be just the start when it comes to pay-related reporting. PWC Ireland pre-empted the approval of the Irish legislation and was the first Irish “Big 4” professional services firm to publish its gender pay gap in 2019.

An Post has calculated that its gender pay gap in favour of men is 3.7 per cent. The semi-State company said its result was “better than most” but accepted it still needed to recruit more women, especially at management level.

Irish women’s weekly income is €153 less than men in retirement, according to a new study from the ESRI think tank. It found that a combination of shorter careers, fewer working hours, and lower earnings for women means that Ireland has a gender pension gap of some 35 per cent.

The Bill’s requirement will initially apply to organisations with 250 or more employees but will extend over time to organisations with 50 or more employees. Organisations will be required to indicate the reasons for any gender pay differentials that are reported.

Progress in the area has been welcomed widely due to the delays in its approval over the past two years since the bill was first drafted. Regulations to give effect to the provisions of the Bill must now be drafted and it is likely that the reporting process will begin in 2022.

NB – This is a guide for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have an issue requiring legal advice, please contact any of the team at Nolan Farrell & Goff LLP, whose numbers can be found on our website www.nfg.ie, or email info@nfg.ie.