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‘Close the Gender Pay Gap by Addressing Systemic Impediments to Equality’

10 Jan 2018

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Congress General Secretary Patricia King has said today that the Gender Pay Gap could never be fully closed until “a range of systemic and structural impediments to equality” were properly tackled and addressed.

Speaking at a Gender Pay Gap Symposium hosted by the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation and the Department of Justice & Equality, Ms King said:

“There are a range of structural and systemic impediments that must be addressed directly if we want to close the gap permanently. These are: the preponderance of women in low paid work, the lack of accessible, affordable childcare, the need to reform our family leave system and the lack of women in leadership positions throughout our society and economy.

“To properly address these issues will require concerted action on the part of individuals, employers, trade unions, government and society as a whole.”

Ms King revealed that Congress and employers’ body IBEC are currently exploring the possibility of a common approach to tackling the Gender Pay Gap, with a view to agreeing a a joint proposal on Gender Pay Gap reporting.

“Our discussions with IBEC are precisely the sort of concerted, coherent action that is required to tackle the problem and, if successful, would represent significant progress on this issue.

The Congress General Secretary said the discussions were focused on the development of an appropriate methodology for Gender Pay Gap reporting, which would generate “meaningful and specific data about pay gaps” in a manner that would deliver benefits to the workers concerned and their employers.

Legislation that would compel larger employers to publish details on the Gender Pay Gap is within their organisations is currently going through the Oireachtas, with all-party support.

A copy of the trade union submission to the recent consultation on the Gender Pay Gap is available here