Time For Govt To Act On Gender Pay Gap

Marking EU Equal Pay Day 2018, Labour has said that it is time for the Government to act on the Gender Pay Gap in Ireland.

Last month, the Seanad passed all stages of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (Gender Pay Gap) Information Bill 2017, a Private Members Bill initiated by the Labour group in the Seanad.

This year, the EU Equal Pay Day falls on 3 November. It marks the moment when women symbolically stop getting paid compared to their male colleagues, with 16% of the working year remaining.

Making the call, Seanad Group Leader, Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Ivana Bacik, said: "The 'gender pay gap' is the term used to describe the difference between the pay of women and men calculated on the basis of the average difference in gross hourly earnings.

"In Ireland, women earn approximately 14% less than men, a figure equating to women in full-time employment working for free for about over one month in every year.

"Our legislation, which is a pay transparency Bill, aims to tackle this ongoing gender inequality head on.

"It has been estimated that despite changes in gender equality generally and progressive change for women's rights in Ireland over the past 11 years, the gender pay gap has narrowed only four percentage points.

"At current rates, the National Women's Council estimates it will take up to 170 years before it fully closes.

"We cannot wait that long, and the government should take the opportunity to now proceed with legislation. It would have been fitting and timely to have addressed the gender pay gap in the centenary year of 2018."

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