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26 April 2024

We are now in the third year of reporting under the Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 (and the Employment Equality Act 1998 (Section 20A) (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2022 (the ‘Regulations’)). This is now a compliance issue for many more employers as this year’s reporting obligations extend to employers with 150 or more employees as at a chosen date in June 2024. The Regulations are currently being updated to reflect this new threshold.

In line with these changes, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (the ‘Department’) has published updated calculation guidance for employers and an updated Frequently Asked Questions (‘FAQ’) document. Some of the text aims to provide more clarity on the pay elements which make up ordinary and bonus pay, as well as noting a proposed change to the reporting timeline in 2025. Our employment law team provides an overview of the key areas the updated guidance documents highlight and what this means for employers reporting in 2024.

The Department’s Updated Guidance – the FAQ

The updated FAQ document highlights a number of changes or confirmation of note in advance of the upcoming December 2024 reporting deadline.

The FAQ document also confirmed that the Regulations do not require organisations to provide any information on job classifications at this time in reporting on their gender pay gaps. We note that this response may be reflecting on the upcoming EU Pay Transparency Directive (the ‘Directive’) which is due to be transposed by June 2026. The Directive will introduce the requirement to provide details of gender pay gaps by category of worker and will introduce further analysis of gender pay issues in terms of a more nuanced pay equity audit approach to pay structures.

All employers (with 50 or more employees) will not only eventually be within gender pay gap reporting requirements but also within the pay equity structures of the Directive. This is driving some employers to undertake pay equity audits now to help remedy underlying gender pay issues in preparation for the new regime.

The Department’s Updated Guidance – the Guidance Note

The Updated Guidance Note for Employers on Reporting in 2024 (the ‘Guidance’) provides clarity on a number of aspects of the calculations required as part of gender pay reporting. The Guidance begins by addressing the new lower threshold of 150 or more employees and clarifies how employers should determine employee numbers/headcount to dictate if they are within scope for 2024 reporting.

The Guidance provides updated information on how to calculate gender pay gap metrics and builds upon previous guidance issued.  It confirms that bonus pay gap calculations should include payments in the form of money, vouchers, or securities, which relate to profit sharing, productivity, performance, incentive or commission. Since the introduction of gender pay gap reporting in Ireland, there has been confusion around the treatment of securities for calculations. The Guidance confirms that payments in the form of securities should be treated as if they were paid to the employee at the time the remuneration is provided, and at the nominal value at that point.

The Guidance also addresses the elements which make up ordinary pay. The Guidance states that ordinary pay includes ‘allowances’ which have been identified as including payments for additional duties; related to location; for the purchase, lease or maintenance of a vehicle or other item; and, for the recruitment or retention of an employee. Ordinary pay should also include the normal salary paid to the employee; any overtime payments; pay for piecework; shift premium pay; pay for sick leave; any salary top-ups for statutory leaves like maternity leave/paternity leave/parent’s leave; pay for gardening leave; and allowances. Redundancy payments and reimbursement for expenses, such as travel, and subsistence should be discounted for calculation purposes.  

The Guidance also confirms that “benefits in kind” includes any non-cash benefit of monetary value provided to an employee and clarifies that this would include the provision of a company car, voluntary health insurance, stock options, or share purchase schemes.

Next steps for employers

With the June snapshot date in mind, we recommend employers (especially those new to the reporting regime) begin their preparations early and collate their data for processing. We have assisted a number of Ireland’s top 100 companies to prepare and report on their gender pay gap and provide a comprehensive gender pay gap service in collaboration with KPMG Ireland’s Tax Transformation & Technology Team.  

Get in touch

We at KPMG Law, will continue to monitor developments in this area, including the impending changes which will occur on the transposition of the EU Pay Transparency Directive. Our Employment Law Team, led by Aoife Newton, can assist your team in preparing a comprehensive and accurate gender pay gap report. We can make your stakeholders aware of the issues, prepare a current “as is” analysis of your payroll to assess the current status of your organisation and provide a communication and action plan to address and explain any gaps arising. Please contact a member of the team for more information.

Contact the team

aoife newton

Aoife Newton

Head of Employment and Immigration Law

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