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Gender Pay Gap Reporting in Ireland

  • Ireland
  • Employment law - Business and human rights

02-09-2022

The Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 introduced a legislative basis for gender pay gap reporting in Ireland. This was followed by the much-anticipated publication of the Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations in June which provide further detail on the specific data which must be collated in order to produce a gender pay gap report.

At present, the estimated gender pay gap in Ireland is 14.4 per cent. The Act makes it a mandatory requirement for employers to report on the difference in the average hourly wage between men and women across a business. Ideally, employers should have a neutral gender pay gap. However, if their report demonstrates that this is not the case, they will be obliged to explain the reasons for this gap and describe the measures they intend to take address this imbalance.

Who must publish a gender pay gap report?

Initially, reporting obligations will apply to employers with at least 250 employees. However, this will be extended to businesses with at least 150 employees in 2024 and to businesses with at least 50 employees in 2025.

The headcount must be carried out by reference to a “snapshot” date in June 2022. All employees whether full-time or part-time, on protected leave or on annual leave, must be included. The only employees who may be excluded are those on a career break for over a year. If the number of employees decreases after the snapshot date, employers are still obliged to produce a report.

Employers are encouraged to take a broad view in assessing their headcount. For example, a group of different legal entities who report their gender pay gap information separately can also voluntarily report their figures for the entire group within their corporate structure.

What should employers be doing now?

In terms of preparation, employers must first choose a specific “snapshot” date in June. They must then calculate the remuneration of their employees in the 12 month period prior to that date in June. Once that data has been collected, it must be used to produce a report detailing the:

1. mean and median pay gaps;

2. mean and median bonus gaps;

3. the proportion of men and women that received bonuses;

4. the proportion of men and women that received benefits in kind; and

5. the proportion of men and women in each of the four quartiles.

How should the reports be published?

Employers are required to publish their gender pay gap report within six months of the snapshot date. It must be published on the employer’s website, or alternatively, hard copies should be made available to all employees and to the general public. The report must remain accessible for at least three years from the date of publication. It is intended that online reporting system will be in effect from 2023.

It is important to reiterate that if the report demonstrates that a gender pay gap exists within the business, the employer must be in a position to issue a statement which outlines the reasons for the gender pay gap and what measures are being taken or are proposed to deal with the discrepancy.

What penalties are there for failing to publish a gender pay gap report?

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has the power to make an application to either the Circuit Court or to the High Court for an order requiring the employer to comply with the 2021 Act.

Furthermore, the Act provides that an employee may refer their employer to the Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission if they believe that they have failed to meet their gender pay gap reporting obligations. The WRC will then commence an investigation if they are satisfied that there are grounds to warrant this.

How Eversheds Sutherland can help you?

The Eversheds Sutherland employment team is available to help you to prepare to meet your new gender pay gap reporting obligations. We can advise you as to the ways and means to collect the remuneration information required and how this should be used to publish your report. Furthermore, moving forward, we are equipped to assist you in identifying measures and strategies needed to address any gender pay gaps identified through the report.

For more information, please contact: