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Sinn Féin table amendments to address gender pay gap - Flanagan

Published: 11 February, 2016

Sinn Féin has tabled motions to the Employment Bill to address the gender pay gap, Phil Flanagan MLA has said.

Mr Flanagan said;

"The gender pay gap reflects ongoing discrimination and inequalities in the workplace and this largely impacts on women.

"Groups campaigning to eradicate the gender pay gap acknowledge the need for accurate information on the scale of the problem in order to allow the problem to be addressed.

"This amendment will require companies with 50 or more employees to publish data on the extent of the pay gap within their own organisation and carry out an equal pay audit.

"This information needs to be detailed enough to shine a light on the main causes of the pay gap and will need to be shared with both employees and trade union representatives.

"It must also show how the pay gap was calculated and include an action plan to put it right.

"The Equality Commission should be given a power to issue notices ordering employers to comply with the reporting guidelines and, if they continue to refuse, to apply to a court for enforcement of those notices.

"The amendment would also require the Executive to bring forward a strategy to tackle the gender pay gap.

"These matters would be a welcome step in addressing the gender pay gap, which has yet to be abolished, 46 years after the introduction of the Equal Pay Act."