News & Media

Fine Gael dragging feet on Gender Pay Gap Law

8 March 2019

Statement by Cllr Deirdre Kingston
Spokesperson for Equality

Labour Party Spokesperson on Equality Cllr. Deirdre Kingston has called on the Government to use Labour legislation which is already well on its way through the Oireachtas to introduce Gender Pay Gap reporting, rather than delaying progress any further.

Cllr. Kingston said:

“Another International Women's Day, and another weak commitment from this Cabinet to close the Gender Pay Cap. While the Cabinet was meeting today to discuss their plans to close the gap, Labour's legislation, which was introduced two years ago, is sitting at Committee Stage.

“The Government has been promising for over a year that they will introduce legislation to tackle the pay gap. During this time, the Labour Party has progressed legislation through all stages of the Seanad and second stage in the Dáil. Fine Gael has made regular pronouncements, similar to what we have heard again today on their commitment, but hasn’t delivered.

“There is nothing to stop the Government bringing amendments to Labour’s Bill, which could be progressed far more quickly than a new piece of legislation brought forward by the government now.

“At around 14%, the pay gap means that Irish women work for free for around one month of every year. Despite passing equal pay legislation in Ireland more than 40 years ago, in 1974, women have still not achieved anything close to pay parity with our male colleagues.

“If enacted, the Labour Party’s Gender Pay Gap Information Bill would require medium to large-sized companies to regularly publish wage transparency surveys that would highlight any difference in pay between their male and female workers.

“Ireland has made significant strides toward gender equality but we are not there yet, and after marking the centenary of women's suffrage, we must prioritise tackling our unsustainable gender pay gap."