A Guide to Gender Pay Gap Reporting

CFO Georgina Carpendale, breaks down the origins of equal pay, the reporting requirements of the Gender Pay Gap and the areas of improvement most firms are missing out on. How does your business fare?

It’s been said that light is the greatest disinfectant. And when it comes to equal pay, the international workforce is holding a torch to pay practices.

Since the 1860s, activists and politicians alike have advocated for equal wages for equal work – over a century later, women are still earning far less than men. While it has improved, the wage gap persists in Ireland ‘23, and according to the latest EUROSTAT figures, currently stands at 11.3%.

The first deadline for reporting the difference in the average hourly wages of men and women in their organisation has passed in December of 2022, making Gender Pay Gap Reporting a key compliance issue for organisations with over 250 employees. This criteria will drop to 150 employees in 2024, and drop further to 50 employees in 2025.

The Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 obliges employers in Ireland to report on their hourly gender pay gap across a range of metrics examine and explain this disparity, implicating further that employers should be mindful that a gender pay gap may harm their brand, employee relations, public reputation and their ability to recruit and retain talent.

Gender Pay Gap reporting requirements.

What you are obliged to report:

  • Mean hourly remuneration gap.
  • Median hourly remuneration gap.
  • Mean bonus remuneration gap.
  • Median bonus remuneration gap.
  • Mean hourly remuneration gap of part-time employees.
  • Median hourly remuneration gap of part-time employees.
  • Mean hourly remuneration gap of temporary contract employees.
  • Median hourly remuneration gap of temporary contract employees.
  • % of male employees who were paid bonus remuneration & % of female employees who were paid bonus remuneration.
  • % of male employees who received benefits in kind & % of female employees who received benefits in kind.
  • Percentage of males and females when divided into four quartiles ordered from lowest to highest pay:
    • Lower remuneration quartile pay band
    • Lower middle remuneration quartile pay band
    • Upper middle remuneration quartile pay band
    • Upper remuneration quartile pay band

Where any pay gaps are identified, employers must set out the reasons for this and the measures being taken, or proposed to be taken, to eliminate or reduce any such pay gaps.

Key Gender Pay Gap metrics explained:

The Mean Pay Gap

The mean gender pay gap is the difference between women’s mean hourly wage and men’s mean hourly wage. The mean hourly wage is the average hourly wage across the entire organisation.

The Median Pay Gap

The median gender pay gap is the difference between women’s median hourly wage (the middle-paid woman) and men’s median hourly wage (the middle-paid man). The median hourly wage is calculated by ranking all employees from the highest paid to the lowest paid and taking the hourly wage of the person in the middle.

The Quartiles

Pay quartiles are calculated by splitting all employees in an organisation into four even groups according to their level of pay. Looking at the proportion of men and women in each quartile gives an indication of the gender representation at different levels of the organisation.

Sample Gender Pay Gap reporting strategy:

  1. Prepare the data: Collect and analyse the relevant data on your employees’ pay and bonuses, as well as the proportion of men and women in each pay quartile. Use the government’s online calculator to work out your gender pay gap figures and check for accuracy.
  2. Publish the report: Upload your report to the government’s online reporting service and your own website. Make sure it is accessible and easy to find. Include a written statement confirming that the information is accurate and signed by a senior person in your organisation.
  3. Explain the context: Provide some background information on your organisation, such as your sector, size, structure and culture. Explain the factors that influenced your gender pay gap figures, such as the distribution of roles, the level of seniority and the type of contracts.
  4. Highlight the actions: Show what you are doing or planning to do to address the gender pay gap in your organisation. Focus on the areas that have the most impact, such as recruitment, retention, progression and development. Provide examples of good practice and success stories.
  5. Engage the stakeholders: Communicate your report and actions to your internal and external stakeholders, such as employees, customers, investors and media. Be transparent and honest about your challenges and achievements. Invite feedback and suggestions for improvement.
  6. Monitor the progress: Review your report and actions regularly and measure their effectiveness. Track the changes in your gender pay gap figures over time and compare them with your sector and national averages. Celebrate your milestones and recognise your efforts.

It is hugely beneficial to think ahead about how changing policies and practices in key areas (including, but not limited to, recruitment, talent development, training, remuneration and retention) could help reduce your gender pay gap.

How will you address your Gender Pay Gap?

It’s not enough to just publish the data, you also need to justify why there is any pay gap and what you are doing to address it. This is essential for complying with the Regulations.

Provide some background information:

Your figure might be affected by various factors, such as your sector of industry or historical trends of progression. We can help you craft the narrative to explain the factors that influenced the calculation.

Review your policies and practices:

How you respond to your gender pay gap could be as important as the data itself. If you don’t show positive change, it could harm your business. Examine these key areas of your policies and practices, are there any areas for improvement?

  • Remuneration
  • Recruitment
  • Talent Development
  • Retention
  • Diversity and Inclusion

At Fitzgerald Power, 67% of our workforce is female, as is 62.5% of the leadership team.

We hire on the basis of talent and have never been in a better position. Our scope is wider than ever before, and our understanding greater.

Running a business isn’t always plain sailing, but we’re here to help you weather any storm, with a wide range of expert services on offer. For more information, contact us via our website.

READ: Our Inside The C-Suite interview series with Sinéad Donovan, the new president of Chartered Accountants Ireland, and chair of Grant Thornton Ireland, who is recognising and shifting the many different conceptions of what is right.

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Gender Equality

Our Partner, Catriona Threadgold, wrote an interesting piece on a very important topic in the Waterford News. Have a read below.
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