A number of government departments are to work together to address the gender pay gap which stands at 13.9% in Ireland against an EU average of 16.7%.
Justice and Equality Minister Charlie Flanagan and Junior Equality Minister David Stanton yesterday announced the launch of a public consultation on tackling pay inequality between the sexes. Employers, trade unions, educational institutions, and the public will have six weeks from August 14 to make a submission.
This process will take place in conjunction with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, which will co-ordinate engagement with the private sector, including wage surveys.
Commenting at the launch, Mr Flanagan said: “This Government wants to create an agenda for change on this issue. That is why, in conjunction with Minister Stanton and the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, we are launching a public consultation. We need to have a clearer understanding of the factors underpinning the pay gap so that government action can be properly tailored towards tackling this issue effectively.
“The Government has made a strong commitment to advancing gender equality in Ireland in its Programme for Partnership Government and the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020. My priority is to ensure that we reduce Ireland’s gender pay gap.”
Mr Stanton added: “This consultation offers an opportunity to give us your views on what can be done to narrow the gap. We will engage with employers and trade unions to get their perspective on tackling this issue.
“Addressing the pay gap will bring concrete benefits for families across Ireland. Fewer women will run the risk of poverty, particularly in their old age. Families will have more income to address day-to-day bills. Children will learn the important message that they can expect to be treated fairly in the workplace, regardless of their gender.”
The Tánaiste and Jobs Minister Frances Fitzgerald, said: “I want us to drive a whole-of-government response addressing all aspects of the gender pay agenda, including working with my agencies on promoting female entrepreneurship, skills development and the uptake of STEM subjects.
“We need the hard data on what is happening in different sectors of the economy so as to influence individuals and employers in career choices, and I am working with my department on developing the necessary evidence to support enterprise- focused initiatives.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved