New Regulations Provide Clarity for Employers on Gender Pay Gap Reporting

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by Catherine O’ Flynn, Partner and Head of the Employment & Benefits department at William Fry

The Employment Equality Act 1998 (Section 20A) (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2022 (Regulations) were published on 3rd June 2022.

The Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 provides the legislative basis for gender pay gap (GPG) reporting in Ireland. It requires organisations to report on their GPG across a range of metrics. The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth had previously published guidance for employers on calculating their gender pay gap metrics (discussed here). The Regulations are binding on employers and provide further detail on how GPG reporting will operate in practice.

Employers are required to select a date in the month of June each year, which will become their “relevant date” for the purposes of the Regulations (Relevant Date). The requirements set out under the Regulations will initially apply to “relevant employers” who have 250 or more employees (including part-time workers) on their Relevant Date. Employers will be required to report on their GPG metrics once each year, within six months of their Relevant Date. The first reporting period will be the 12 months preceding the employer’s Relevant Date.

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Under the Regulations, relevant employers will be required to report on the following information regarding their “relevant employees” for the period of 12 months ending on the Relevant Date they have selected:

  1. Information relating to mean hourly remuneration
  2. Information relating to median hourly remuneration
  3. Information relating to bonus remuneration and benefits in kind
  4. Information relating to quartile pay bands.

The information must be published or made available within six months of the employer’s Relevant Date. Where the information shows differences relating to remuneration that are referable to gender, the employer must publish a written statement which sets out the reasons for the GPG, in the employer’s opinion. The written statement must also state the measures (if any) being taken, or proposed to be taken, by the employer to eliminate or reduce their GPG.

Employers may publish the information listed above, along with a report, where relevant, on their website in a manner that is accessible to their employees and the public. Where they do not have a website, the employer may make the information and report, where relevant, available in physical form for inspection during normal business hours by their employees and the public at their registered office or place of business. The information, and report, where relevant, must remain available for inspection for three years from the date of publication.

The Regulations provide further clarity on the types of remuneration to be included in GPG calculations, as well as detail on how an employee’s total number of working hours can be calculated.

Next steps

Relevant employers, with 250 or more relevant employees, must now select their Relevant Date in June 2022. Employers should ensure they have plans in place for calculating their GPG metrics in preparation for reporting in December 2022.

About the author

Catherine is Head of William Fry’s Employment & Benefits Department. She advises on all contentious and non-contentious employment matters with a particular expertise in equality issues.  Catherine also has significant experience advising clients in relation to confidentiality, restrictive covenants and severance related matters.  Catherine has acted on behalf of a wide range of commercial clients and also regularly advises senior level executives. Catherine has lectured and written extensively in relation to employment law matters.  She is a committee member of the Law Society’s Employment and Equality Law Committee and of the American Chamber of Commerce Employment Law Working Group.