FAQs on GPG Reporting in Ireland

A summary of frequently asked questions relating to the draft Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations are listed below.

What is the Gender Pay Gap?

The GPG should not be confused with the concept of equal pay for equal work. The existence of a GPG does not necessarily mean women are not receiving equal pay.

Rather, the GPG is the difference in the average gross hourly pay of women compared with men in a particular organisation, such that it captures whether women are represented evenly across an organisation.

What's Ireland's GPG?

Ireland has a GPG of 13.9%, compared with a European Union average of 16.7% in 2014.

Is GPG Reporting a legal requirement in Ireland?

Not yet but legislation is on the way. In April the Government published the draft text of its Gender Pay Gap Information Bill. This legislation intends to require employers in Ireland to publish data on differences in pay and bonus as between men and women.

Will all employers in Ireland be affected?

Not yet. The proposed mandatory reporting obligation will initially only affect employers with over 250 employees. The draft Bill intends to narrow this scoppe to 150 employees within three years and, ultimately, to target all employers in Ireland with 50 or more employees.

What information needs to be calculated and reported?

The draft text of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill that provides that the Minister for Justice and Equality will make regulations in respect of:

(i)       Prescribing the classes of employer and employee to which the regulations will relate

(ii)      How to calculate the number of employees an employer has

(iii)     How to calculate the pay of employees

(iv)    The form, manner and frequency with which information is to be published

The information to be reported (and published) will include the differences between:

(i)       The mean and median hourly pay of male and female employees

(ii)      The mean and median bonus pay of male and female employees

(iii)     The mean and median pay of part-time male and female employees; and

(iv)    The mean and median pay of employees on temporary contracts

Employers will also be required to publish details of the number of male and female employees who:

(i)       Were paid bonus pay

(ii)      Received benefits in kind; and

(iii)     Are in the lower, lower-middle, upper-middle and upper range pay bands

It is also possible that the regulations will require the publication of information by reference to job classifications.

Will this data be published and, if so, where?

Yes. The draft Gender Pay Gap Information Bill envisages the publication of data, although the form, manner and frequency of such reporting and publication has not yet been clarified.

Will there be consequences for non-compliance?

Yes. The draft Gender Pay Gap Information Bill indicates an intention to amend Ireland's employment equality legislation to include bespoke "enforcement powers" in respect of GPG information. Designated officers may be appointed by the Minister to investigate and prepare compliance reports in respect of employers. These officers would be allowed to enter the employer premises and require records and other documents to be handed over for inspection/copying. There is also scope for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to apply to the Circuit Court for an order requiring an employer to adhere to the reporting obligations.

The draft Bill also envisages an employee being able to refer a complaint that his/her employer has failed to comply with the GPG reporting obligations to the Director General (DG) of the Workplace Relations Commission. The DG may order a "specified course of action" on the part of the employer to ensure compliance. All decisions will be published and will include the names of the employer and employee.

Under the Bill there is no provision for sanctions in the form of financial compensation to any employee or a fine to be paid by the employer for non-compliance.