Detect – Fix – Prevent

21st May 2019

Posted In: FYI

Dera McLoughlin of Mazars Ireland addressed attendees at the recent Irish Payroll Association (IPASS) 2019 Annual Payroll and Conference Exhibition, about the incoming Gender Pay Gap Information bill, what it means for Irish businesses, international experience, and the steps they should take in preparation.

In her comments to the attendees, she advised that:

•Gender pay reporting is imminent in Ireland and is likely to be passed into legislation this year with initial reporting in 2020. It is currently in place in the UK and in France.

•Gender pay and equal pay are fundamentally different. Paying men and women differently for the same work is illegal whereas 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 gap in Ireland at present is 13.9%.

•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.

•Small gaps will assist organisations in attracting and retaining talent as underpaid employees are 22% more likely to leave than similar employees in the same job.

•Pay gaps are disruptive and can have serious business consequences leaving enterprises vulnerable to issues such as enforcement actions, lawsuits, loss of contracts.

To prepare for the legislation, which is due to be published this year, Dera McLoughlin recommended the following key actions:

Detect – fix – prevent

Detect – Using a firm’s payroll/HR data, develop a statistical model that determines whether you have a pay gap attributable to gender. Using the model, quantify the size of the pay gap and identify which employees are affected, and by how much.

Fix – Create a plan to address the gaps; Close pay gaps with measures such as recruitment changes, mentoring / sponsorship programmes, flexible working arrangements and career development opportunities.

Prevent – Determine root causes of pay gaps and address to guard against future gaps emerging. This can be achieved by:

Ensuring alignment between total reward and compliance

Ongoing analysis of a company’s workforce at a strategic level

Adopting a clear talent management and recruitment strategy

Ensuring complete employee performance management