Archive for November 2020

Economist Paul Goldrick-Kelly writes about the carbon economy and the need for fundamental change

Posted on November 13, 2020

decarbonising
decarbonising

NERI economist Paul Goldrick-Kelly discusses the challenge posed by the necessary effort to decarbonise and what it might mean for economic growth.

Economic growth is the dominant concept informing government policy around the world. Economic policy is structured around fostering growth through – among other things - education, technological advance and encouraging the spread of the same to encourage widespread take up of more efficient production techniques.

Efficiency is the key concept for most theorists of economic growth, particularly when referring to long-term growth. You can increase the value of completed goods and services by throwing in more inputs – or what economists call factors of production - in the form of working people and the stock of assets they use to produce. This is known as extensive growth.

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Women in the World of Work -Citizens Assembly

Posted on November 13, 2020

gender pay
gender pay

As the Citizen’s Assembly prepares for sessions on Women in the world of work, we examine some of the issues they will be discussing.
Gender Pay Gap
This week marked “Equal Pay Day”, the date that women in Ireland effectively work for free for the remainder of the year when compared with their male counterparts. This is due to the gender pay gap - the difference between the average hourly pay of all male employees and of all female employees. The EU average is 16% and our gap stands at 14.4% . So, on average women earn 85.6 cents for every Euro men earn.
Why are women paid less?
Actually it’s not surprising for a wide variety of reasons:
• Women still face discrimination in the labour market;
• One of the biggest problems is segregation in education and work. (This refers to concentration of either women or men in certain subjects or jobs).
• Most of the highest paying occupations are predominantly male while most of the lowest paying occupations are predominantly female
• Senior positions tend to be held by men;
• There is a motherhood penalty
• Part-time penalty.(more women work part-time because of care responsibilities and lower paid)
• Double/Triple shift. (Job, Housework, Children)
We also have a low pay problem in this country, with 23% of the workforce designated as low paid compared to an OECD average of 15%. And Women are over represented in this cohort – between 60/65%
We also have among the most expensive childcare in the EU, built on the backs of mostly low paid women.
We have among the lowest control over our working times and patterns – including access to flexible working arrangements.
And, women (and men) workers and their trade unions have no legislative right to be recognised in the workplace for collective bargaining purposes, or to make representations to their employer through their trade union.
Recommendations
That’s quite a menu of issues to be dealt with but we feel the following measures would make a real difference and have asked the members of the Assembly to recommend the following:
The previous Government and the current one have made commitments to introduce gender pay gap reporting legislation that has yet to be completed. The draft law is designed to require certain employers to publish information in relation to the gender pay gap in their organisations. It will provide an incentive to employers to create plans to deal with any gaps identified and allow prospective employees to see their record in this regard.
There is also action at EU level with the EU Commission considering proposals for a Pay Transparency Directive so that the undervaluing of work that is predominantly done by women is once and for all addressed. This week, the ETUC published trade union proposals an unusual step in protest over the delay to the European Commission legislation originally due to be published on European equal pay day. The European Commission then announced it will "soon propose binding measures on pay transparency". Good news indeed, but women workers need to know how soon is soon?
1. Recommendation - support legislating for pay transparency at home and across the EU.

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