With the introduction of gender pay reporting imminent in Ireland and likely to be passed into legislation this year with initial reporting in 2020, it is critical that employers understand the key issues and how to address them in their business.
Gender pay and equal pay are fundamentally different. Paying men and women differently for the same work is illegal; however, in most organisations, there are fewer women in more senior roles and as such organisations have a gap in overall pay between men and women. The average pay gap in Ireland at present is 13.9%.
Pay gaps are disruptive and can have serious business consequences leaving enterprises vulnerable to issues such as enforcement actions, lawsuits and loss of contracts. Formal reporting of organisations gender pay gap will shine a spotlight on those companies who promote equality and diversity and actively seek to support women.
Speaking at a Tackling the Gender Pay Gap seminar, Sonya Boyce, Senior Manager in HR Consulting at Mazars Ireland outlined several essential steps that businesses should take to actively address their gender pay gap and reporting requirements.
- Develop a communications strategy - communicate proactively with internal and external stakeholders, particularly employees, before reports are made public. It’s essential to adapt your communication to your specific stakeholders.
- Review and cleanse your data - using a firm’s payroll/HR data, develop a statistical model that determines whether you have a pay gap attributable to gender.
- Perform a trial run – quantify the size of the pay gap and identify which employees are affected, and by how much.
- Analyse the root cause - guard against future differences emerging by ensuring alignment between total reward and compliance, ongoing analysis of a company’s workforce at a strategic level, adopting transparent talent management and recruitment strategy and providing complete employee performance management.
- Work out external and internal messaging - include a narrative with your submission and include details of a clear action plan on how to tackle a gender pay gap and will provide valuable reassurance to stakeholders internally and externally.
- Identify short, medium and long-term actions – create a plan to close the pay gaps with measures such as recruitment changes, mentoring / sponsorship programmes, flexible working arrangements and career development opportunities.
Presenters included Sandra Healy, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, DCU and Sonya Boyce, Senior Manager, HR Consulting, Mazars.
Pictured at the Tackling the Gender Pay Gap event in the Merrion Hotel, Dublin. Hosted by Mazars, the event showcased presentations from Sandra Healy, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, DCU, and Sonya Boyce, Senior Manager, HR Consulting, Mazars. (Pictured l- r) Sandra Healy, DCU, Mairéad Divilly, Dr Graham Love and Sonya Boyce, Mazars.