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Gender Pay Gap

Congress Guide

Congress Guide to negotiating on gender pay gap and final report of project

Pay gap is also among the reasons for the preponderance of women on the minimum wage - more here

Useful links:

ETUC on Gender Pay Gap - here

European Commission on Gender pay gap - here and latest Country page for Ireland

TUC Work

The TUC has done groundbreaking work on the gender pay gap, including a series of films about the fight for equal pay. They include oral history interviews with women and union representatives involved in some of the major equal pay cases since 1968. The films were made by two well-known film directors, Sarah Boston and Jenny Morgan, and jointly funded by the TUC, the Wainwright Trust and the European Social Fund.


Both the short and long versions of all the films shown on the website, plus a longer film on the history of the fight for equal pay - The Equal Pay Story : scenes from a turbulent history - are available on DVD from TUC Publications.

Reports and Figures

European conference on the pay gap: the need for a European strategy and national action plans

The average hourly pay gap between women and men remains at 18% within the European Union and, on an annual basis at 24%, according to the European Report released by the Belgian Presidency; in real terms the difference ranges between 6% and 34%. These figures have led Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Employment and Equal Opportunities, Joëlle Milquet to make the struggle against unequal pay one of three priorities for her equal opportunities programme during the Belgian Presidency of the European Union. The Minister therefore organized on 25 and 26 October 2010, a conference on this theme, in collaboration with the European Commission. Congress was represented by Margaret Brown (IBOA and Secretray to the Congress Womens Committee) and Mags O'Brien (SIPTU).


I. Introduction
Joëlle Milquet's ambition is to give a new impetus to Europe's determination to eliminate the pay gap. Nearly 250 participants from national authorities responsible for equality between men and women policy, social partners, civil society, EU institutions and academia attended the conference to seek effective action strategies. Joëlle Milquet hoped to rally all key players and will submit the findings for adoption by the EPSCO Council in December 2010.
This thinking is part of a new context: that of the new EU 2020 Strategy for employment and intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth. A major objective of this Strategy is to increase the employment rates of men and women, aged 20 to 64, to 75% by 2020. To do so, would require dramatically increasing the employment rate for women, which is currently 63%, while tending toward the essential principle of equal pay.


II. A need for European and National Strategy to overcome the pay gap
The conference helped to develop 10 major axes to focus on:
1. Implementation of national action plans to reduce the pay gap
2. Effective implementation and enforcement of equal pay legislation
3. Ensuring transparency of salaries
4. Elimination of vertical segregation
5. Overcoming stereotypes and horizontal segregation
6. Reconciliation of private and professional lives
7. Periodic measurement of the pay gap
8. Integrating targets in the National Reform Programmes
9. Relying on the European Commission
10. Empowering the social partners

Equal Pay: Where next?

This report, published jointly by the TUC with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Unison and the Fawcett Society, explores the issues around equal pay. 40 years after the Equal Pay Act, women working full-time in the UK are still paid an average 16.4 per cent less per hour than men. This is equivalent to men being paid all the year round, while women work for free after 2nd November! This report contains the main discussions and recommendations from the Equal Pay - Where Next? conference held in 2010 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. It explores making the business case for equal pay, how the structure and organisation of the workplace plays a part in the equal pay debate, the adequacy or inadequacy of the legislative framework underpinning equal pay and attitudes and culture surrounding equal pay.

2009 report on Gender Pay Gap

The ESRI and the Equality Authority have published a report on the gender pay gap. "The Gender Wage Gap in Ireland: Evidence from the National Employment Survey 2003", uses data with vital and unique information on both employee and employer characteristics to assess the size and nature of the gender pay gap in Ireland. Key findings include: - The observed or "raw" gap between men's and women's hourly wages was about 22 per cent for all employees. About two-thirds of the observed gap was due to differences in observable characteristics between men and women, such as different levels of education and labour market experience, job and firm characteristics, etc. When account is taken of such factors, the remaining adjusted (or unexplained) wage gap was close to 8 per cent. The gender pay gap was among the issues addressed in the Congress Equality Briefing published in July 2009.

TUC on Government proposals May 2010

TUC gives cautious welcome to commitment to close gender pay gap Commenting on the Government's plans announced 25th May 2010 in the Queen's Speech to close the gender pay gap,

CSO Women and Men in Ireland

Income: Women's income in 2007 was around two-thirds of men's income. After adjusting for the longer hours worked by men, women's hourly earnings were around 87% of men's. Read more

Report from European Commission: Equality between women and men 2010

Women are more likely to have a disadvantaged position on the labour market e.g. due to higher incidence of precarious contracts, involuntary part-time and a
persistent unfavourable pay gap (17.6 % on average in the EU in 2007), with repercussions on their lifetime earnings, social security protection and pensions,
resulting in higher at-risk-of-poverty rates, especially once in retirement. Read more

Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men

2009 publication of the the opinion on the gender pay gap of the Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, to which the ETUC contributed.

European Commission Campaign

The European Commission launched on 3 March 2009 an information campaign in all EU countries about the gender pay gap. If you want to find out more about the campaign, or if you want to act as an information relay, you can consult here all the materials available. You can also download and print a range of campaign communication tools (leaflets, posters, PowerPoint presentations, videoclip), or ask for the communication kit to be sent to you by post.

European Commission info on Gender Equality

Equality between women and men is a fundamental right, a common value of the EU, and a necessary condition for the achievement of the EU objectives of growth, employment and social cohesion. Although inequalities still exist, the EU has made significant progress over the last decades in achieving equality between women and men. This is mainly thanks to equal treatment legislation, gender mainstreaming and specific measures for the advancement of women. More

Gender Inequalities in Time Use

The Equality Authority and the ESRI have published a ground breaking report on 'Gender Inequalities in Time Use - The Distribution of Caring, Housework and Employment among Women and Men in Ireland'. (2008). This report analyses time diaries from just over 1000 men and women, aged 18 to 97, from the Irish National Time Use Survey 2005 to gather information on paid and unpaid work. This analysis looks in detail at the breakdown of tasks between women and men. It is the first systematic study of gender differences in unpaid work among all adults in Ireland. It also looks at the distribution of time between women and men in couples.

ESRI Time Use Report

ESRI Time use in Ireland 2005 Survey Report

Have a look at this report to see findings from the 2005 study of time-use in Ireland, published by The Economic and Social Research Institute in association with the NDP Gender Equality Unit of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.