4 minute read 17 Sep 2019
Gender pay gap reporting

Choose to see gender pay gap reporting as an opportunity

Authors

Jackie Gilmore

Ernst & Young — Ireland (EY Ireland) People Advisory Services Partner

People Advisory Services Partner. Commercially driven, motivated leader. Dedicated mentor.

Niamh O'Beirne

Ernst & Young — Ireland (EY Ireland) People Advisory Services Partner and Head of Government and Health for Advisory

Government and Health Industry leader. Diversity and inclusion advocate. Mother of three children.

Olivia McEvoy

Ernst & Young — Ireland (EY Ireland) People Advisory Services Director

Diversity & Inclusion Director and Advocate . Aspires to a world where diversity, inclusion and equality are championed and celebrated. Sporty Spice.

4 minute read 17 Sep 2019

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Smart working, including flexible and family-friendly working conditions, is the most common action taken to address the GPG in the UK.

Those who choose to see gender pay gap reporting as an opportunity to enact change, will soon experience the countless benefits associated with having a more diverse and inclusive workforce, forming an integral part of a more prosperous and more equal economy and society across the island of Ireland.

What is the Gender Pay Gap?

The ‘pay gap’ is the difference in average pay between two groups in a workforce. In the case of the gender pay gap (GPG), it is the difference in average hourly pay between males and females in a workforce. The ‘pay gap’ and ‘equal pay’ are different. ‘Equal pay’ is being paid the same for the same/similar work.

The Gender Pay Gap Information Bill

The General Scheme of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill is expected to be enacted in 2019 with organisations likely obliged to publish their GPG in 2020. This new regulation will apply to both public and private sector entities. It will first affect those with over 250 employees. After two years, it will affect those with over 150 employees and after three years, those with over 50 employees.

What will organisations be obliged to report under the legislation?

While the precise parameters have yet to be enshrined in legislation, it is expected organisations will be obliged to report on:

  • Difference in mean hourly pay of male and female employees
  • Difference in median hourly pay of male and female employees
  • Difference in mean bonus pay of male and female employees
  • Difference in median bonus pay of male and female employees
  • Difference in mean pay of male and female part-time employees
  • Difference in median pay of male and female part-time employees • Difference in mean pay of males and females on temporary contracts
  • Difference in median pay of males and females on temporary contracts
  • Proportion of male and female employees paid bonus pay
  • Proportion of male and female employees who receive benefits in kind
  • Proportion of male and female employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands

Employers may also be required to report differences in pay by reference to job classifications.

How will it be enforced?

There are two mechanisms proposed to require employers to comply with the legislation including an application for an order to the Circuit Court and to the Workplace Relations Commission. In addition, officers will be designated to investigate a sample of employers to ensure that the information published is accurate.

Reasons behind the gap and how to address it

Reasons behind the gap

Following the requirement for organisations in the UK to report their GPG in 2018, the following are the most common reasons behind the GPG in the UK:

Addressing the gap

The following are the most common actions companies took to address the GPG in the UK:  

‘FlexIndex’

Smart working, including flexible and family-friendly working conditions, is the most common action taken to address the GPG in the UK. While smart working is something that needs to be available to and availed of by people of all genders and independent of family status in order to be effective, the unavailability of ‘flexible’ working conditions affects women disproportionately. This typically results in fewer women at senior levels in an organisation which impacts the GPG.  EY has created ‘FlexIndex’, an analytical tool that provides organisations with clear direction of how to introduce a more flexible working model, moving from a state where organisations accommodate flexible working to being flexible by design. Creating a more flexible working environment not only helps organisations reduce their GPG but also increases productivity, reduces costs and improves brand reputation. Based on academic and field research the tool assesses the opportunity for flexible working across the five dimensions of flexibility (location, schedule, role, hours and contract). ‘FlexIndex’ provides insights into current constraints, uptake of both formal and informal flexible options and the culture of flexibility. It will also provide benchmarking against external data points, such as industry norms, to provide an assessment of the gap between current prevalence and the opportunity for flexible working in client organisations. This insight is then applied to developing a business case for closing the gap.

Benefits of completing a GPG now

Internal benefits

  • Ensure accurate data is available
  • Assess internal capability to complete GPG reporting
  • Address issues before legislation is enacted and findings subject to public scrutiny

External benefits

  • Avoid reputational damage
  • Enhance brand reputation
  • Ability to attract and retain the best people

How can EY help?

Are you taking advantage of the GPG opportunity?

Regardless of where you are on your GPG journey, EY can help

Summary

Those who choose to see gender pay gap reporting as an opportunity to enact change, will soon experience the countless benefits associated with having a more diverse and inclusive workforce, forming an integral part of a more prosperous and more equal economy and society across the island of Ireland.

About this article

Authors

Jackie Gilmore

Ernst & Young — Ireland (EY Ireland) People Advisory Services Partner

People Advisory Services Partner. Commercially driven, motivated leader. Dedicated mentor.

Niamh O'Beirne

Ernst & Young — Ireland (EY Ireland) People Advisory Services Partner and Head of Government and Health for Advisory

Government and Health Industry leader. Diversity and inclusion advocate. Mother of three children.

Olivia McEvoy

Ernst & Young — Ireland (EY Ireland) People Advisory Services Director

Diversity & Inclusion Director and Advocate . Aspires to a world where diversity, inclusion and equality are championed and celebrated. Sporty Spice.