Sinn Féin leader supports Gender Pay Gap Reporting legislation

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald TD criticised the Government for frustrating the introduction of gender pay gap reporting in Ireland.

Speaking in the Dáil today, the Dublin Central TD said:

“Senator Ivana Bacik is to be commended for introducing the Gender Pay Gap Bill last year. It is an important piece of legislation that brings Ireland in line with practices already in place in other jurisdictions.

“The gender pay gap is not a new issue. A multitude of research has been undertaken here in Ireland and across the EU. The Department of Justice and Equality itself commissioned a study sixteen years ago on male female wage differentials across a number of sectors.

“The Government has offered up no reasonable explanation as to why it has frustrated the introduction of gender pay gap reporting in Ireland.

“Instead of constructively engaging with the legislation introduced by the Labour Senator last year the Government chose instead to dither and delay before eventually producing its own Bill.

“The Government’s legislation is in its infancy, which means we are unlikely to see gender pay gap reporting in place during the lifetime of this administration, despite commitments made in the Programme for Government.

“The Programme for Government also commits to strengthen the role of the Low Pay Commission in relation to the gender pay gap.

“We know from an ESRI study published last year that women are twice as likely to be earning the minimum wage as men. Women populate low paid sectors such as care work, retail and hospitality.

“These inequalities are unravelling the fabric of our society and are undermining the sustainability of the economy.

“Sinn Féin, like others on the opposition benches has produced deliverable solutions to tackle income inequality.

“Market interventions are required. We need to advance the introduction of a Living Wage, rent controls, and ambitious childcare subsidies for parents of young children.

“More equal societies do better, but to do better we need politicians’ at the helm who are committed to challenging entrenched inequality head on.”