Seanad unanimously passes gender pay gap bill through committee stage

Senator Ivanna Bacik with SIPTU’s National Campaigns and Equality Organiser Karan O’ Loughlin and Ursula Quill

Yesterday (Wednesday 25th of October) the Seanad unanimously passed the gender pay gap bill through committee stage — another important step towards getting this legislation on the statute books.

Earlier this year, Labour published Closing the Gap — A policy on gender equality in the workplace.

One of the biggest ideas in that document was legislation to require all companies with 50 staff or more to publish the gender pay gaps in their organisations, and to empower the Human Rights and Equality Commission to take action against companies which continue to pay men more than women.

In May, they published legislation seeking to do just that. And today we moved another step closer to getting the legislation enacted.

This is a basic issue of workplace equality. The most recent research on this topic finds that women in Ireland earn on average 14% less than men. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Other countries have legislated to require wage transparency. And where that has been done, the gender pay gap has been reduced.

Labour Party Senator Ivana Bacik said:

“In campaigning for change in this area, we have had terrific trade union support. I want to thank all of those who got behind this legislation, and to ask everyone to keep up the pressure to make sure our Bill becomes law over the months ahead.”