A new guide for trade unions on gender pay gap reporting has been launched.

Under new legislation, organisations with over 250 employees will have to report on their gender pay gaps later this year.

Businesses are required to choose a 'snapshot' date of their employees in June 2022 and then report on the hourly gender pay gap for those employees on the same date in December 2022.

Employers will also be required to publish a statement setting out the reasons for the gender pay gap in their company, and what measures are being taken to address it.

According to Eurostat data, the current gender pay gap in Ireland is 11.3%.

The guide has been launched by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), and Minister for Equality Roderick O'Gorman, and contains advice on bringing the issue into collective bargaining.

"I welcome the launch of the 'Trade Union Guide to Gender Pay Gap Audits’, to build on the reporting requirements provided for in legislation," Mr O'Gorman said.

"I encourage its uptake by unions as it has the potential to positively impact on the success of gender pay gap reporting and achieving real change to gender equality in the workplace," he added.

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Consultant and author of the guide, Dr Jane Pillinger, described gender pay gap reporting as an important milestone in the fight against unfair and unequal pay.

"Trade unions have a vital role to play in finding solutions with employers and bringing unequal pay and its root causes into collective bargaining," Dr Pillinger said.

ICTU President Kevin Callinan said the new gender pay gap reporting legislation will provide an opportunity for unions to negotiate actions to address pay inequality.

"We will be seeking engagement with employers when the first set of audit reports are published in December, in order to agree a set of measures to be taken by the employer to eliminate or reduce any gaps identified," Mr Callinan said.