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Gender Equality in the Workplace

Employment Law - For Employees, Employment Law For Employers Solicitors Dublin

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Gender Equality in the workplace is an important and highlighted topic in today’s society especially in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement which rightly brought gender issues to the forefront of people’s minds. More awareness has been raised around this pressing issue. Gender equality is to have equal opportunities and outcomes afforded to men and women.

Inequality in the Workplace

In a report carried out by the CSO which showed that only one in nine CEO’s in Ireland are women. 28% of women occupied Senior Executive roles in comparison to 72% for men. It was further discovered that alarmingly the majority of Chairpersons were male at 93% with just 7% being female[1].

Further to the above, a new study[2] showed that one in three women working in senior roles are more likely to face workplace discrimination than their male counterparts.  In the Workplace Relations Commissions 2019 report showed that there was a 36% increase in gender discrimination claims.  It will be interesting to see what these figures are for the 2020 report. Although progress has been made to promote women to senior positions on par with their male counterparts and to reduce discrimination in the workplace, these surveys and statistics highlight that gender inequality is still alive and kicking in this country and that a lot more needs to be achieved and done in the area to tackle gender inequality in the workplace.

There are a number of reasons why this type of discrimination exists however, the modern workplace should have no tolerance for discrimination on these ground or indeed in any form. A long list of various types’ of gender discrimination could be listed however, one of the most prevalent is where pay differs between men and women.

The Gender Pay Gap

The Irish Times recently published an article[3] whereby it stated that “Women in Ireland are effectively working unpaid for the next seven weeks because of the current 14.4 per cent gender pay gap, according to the WorkEqual Campaign”. This is a worrying statistic considering we live in a more tolerant and modern society however, the issue of gender pay gap still exists for women in the workplace.

A positive step forward in tackling this issue of pay inequality has resulted in the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2019 being drafted which is on the horizon. The Bill, when enacted, will make amendments to the Employment Equality Acts 1998.  This would essentially make it a regulatory requirement for certain employers to publish information including the pay and bonuses of their employees by reference to the gender of the employee. Importantly, employers will be required to supply reasons behind any pay gaps between members of the opposite sex. Employees will also have an avenue for redress by bringing a claim to the Director General in Workplace Relations Commission if an employer fails to comply with its reporting obligations.

If you require assistance or further information in relation to Gender equality or the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill reporting obligations or indeed need advice if you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your gender please contact us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

Contact us today at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

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[1] CSO statistical release 23 May 2019 https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/gbb/genderbalanceinbusinesssurvey2019/

[2] conducted by Irish-American technology company Workhuman, published in the Irish Post

[3] https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/irish-women-are-essentially-working-for-free-for-rest-of-year-due-to-pay-gap-campaign-says-1.4403856

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