Companies are “still in the dark” on how to report differences between men’s and women’s pay, despite a June deadline approaching.
Almost a year after new gender pay gap legislation was signed into law, a survey by HR specialists CIPD Ireland has revealed that 45 per cent of employers are concerned about their ability to collect and analyze the data required.
The survey also found that 52 percent of companies — particularly small businesses where pay scales can be more easily worked out — have concerns about privacy issues when reporting the information.
Ireland’s Gender Pay Gap Information Act was signed into law last July and introduced on 8 March this year, International Women’s Day.
The rules require Irish listed companies with more than 250 employees to report the difference between the average (and median) hourly wages and bonuses of men and women and explain why any gaps exist.
Data is based on a “snapshot” date in June 2022, to be reported to the government by December.
The government had promised to publish detailed rules on how pay would be calculated, for example, for people on maternity leave or flexible contracts, but has not yet done so.
Mary Connaughton, director of CIPD Ireland, said companies would find it “very difficult” to collect data without having these detailed regulations.
“We know it’s technically complex, but they’ve been working on it for a number of years,” she said of the government’s plans.
“Companies need time to gather the data and find the right formula, and expecting companies to be able to react in such a short amount of time without these technical details is going to be very challenging.”
A spokesman for the Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Inclusion and Youth said they “expected” to publish the rules “very soon” but had not set a date for that.
Similar rules have been in place in the UK since 2017.
Some Irish companies – including Eir, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB – have started reporting on pay gaps voluntarily but have not yet released figures on bonuses.
A Post reported last year that it had closed its gender pay gap.
Eir, the state’s largest telecoms provider, reported an 11.2 per cent difference in average hourly wages for men and women in 2021 in favor of men, while Bank of Ireland’s pay gap stood at 23.8 per cent last year, a slight one Improvement on 2020.
Ryanair’s Pay Gap Report 2020 in the UK showed a 67.8 per cent gap in average hourly wages in favor of men due to a shortage of female pilots and male cabin crew, the company said.
Ms Connaughton said the gender pay gap is also skewed in favor of men in the financial sector, particularly when it comes to bonuses.
She also expressed concerns that more remote work and flexible working could “punish” women, “not in any intentional way, just a little bit ‘out of sight, out of mind'”.
Gender pay gap rules are not the same as equal pay for equal work, which is a legal right. Wage gap reporting is a broader measure that applies to average pay across all companies, from CEO down.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/irish-firms-in-the-dark-on-how-to-report-gender-pay-issues-according-to-survey-41615728.html Irish firms are ‘groping in the dark’ on how to report gender pay issues, survey says