Ted Walsh: No pay gap in horse racing industry

There should be no pay gap between men and women, according to broadcaster and leading race horse trainer Ted Walsh.

Ted Walsh: No pay gap in horse racing industry

The popular RTÉ commentator said men and women working in the tough industry do not experience any pay gap.

The father of jockey Ruby Walsh and amateur jockey daughter Katie, 33, who won the Irish Grand National two years ago on Thunder And Roses in Fairyhouse, said both sexes should not be treated or paid any differently.

“As far as I’m concerned there is no pay gap between men and women working in this industry. They are all the same and there shouldn’t be any difference in pay.

“I know I never treat or look at whether people are male of female working in the industry.

“Anyone working in the yard here all have a job to do and everyone is the same,” he said,

One of Mr Walsh’s most famous achievements was training Papillon to win the English Grand National in 2000 and Commanche Court to win the Irish Grand National, both ridden by his champion jockey son Ruby.

His comments come as the former director general of the Workplace Relations Commission Kieran Mulvey has been asked by RTÉ to advise it on the terms of independent review of gender equality within the company.

“When it comes to pay gaps at RTÉ it’s all about [viewer] ratings and I suppose that does have an influence on pay and salaries,” added Mr Walsh.

The Government has launched a public consultation and is to conduct wage surveys to tackle the gender pay gap in the public and private service.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald are giving employers, trade unions, and members of the public six weeks to outline what can be done to narrow the gap between the earnings of male and female workers.

Figures released fromRTÉ confirmed only three of the top 10 paid presenters are women.

Separately, a report in the equine industry, commissioned by the Independents4Change, says it found widespread breaches of rights in areas including excessive working time; “black economy” activity, failure to pay overtime, holiday pay, pension, bonuses and other entitlements.

The report authored by former Siptu official Dermot O’Loughlin, calls on the Government to replace the Turf Club with a public Commission for Animal Sporting Events Regulation.

Mr O’Loughlin said the Government should intervene to prevent employment rights abuses for workers in the horse racing industry.

Responding to the report, Horse Racing Ireland said it placed a very high priority on the welfare and working conditions of staff throughout the industry, which is a significant employer in rural Ireland.

The Irish racing industry is directly responsible for 14,000 jobs in Ireland and is worth €11bn to the economy.

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