Clear details of wages will have to be given in job ads under a new law being heralded as a “game-changer” for women.
he European parliament approved a new directive on pay transparency last Thursday that must become national law within three years.
All employers will be legally obliged to stick to new rules that are expected to give job- seekers and workers far more transparency on salaries.
Bosses will have to provide information about initial pay levels or the wage range on offer in a job vacancy notice before an interview.
Also, employers will not be allowed to ask job candidates about their pay history. Other key measures include a right for all workers to ask their employer for information on pay levels within a firm.
They can ask for average salary levels broken down by sex for staff doing the same or similar work to them.
In addition, if an employer’s gender pay gap report shows a difference of at least 5pc, they can be asked to carry out a wage assessment.
There are also measures for victims of pay discrimination. They include compensation with full back pay.
Employers, rather than workers, will have to prove there was no discrimination in relation to pay. Sanctions will include fines.
When asked when Equality Minister Roderic O’Gorman plans to translate the directive into law, a department spokesperson said it would be “as soon as is practicable”.
“Detailed consideration of the measures required to complete transposition of the directive into national law will begin shortly,” she said.
“Some elements, such as gender pay gap reporting by employers, are in place but may require amendment to align with the detailed provisions of the directive. It is the minister’s intention to transpose the directive as soon as is practicable.”
A PwC analysis of the first mandatory gender pay gap reports last December revealed an average pay gap of almost 13pc between men and women. The new directive aims to ensure there is equal pay and justice for victims of wage discrimination.
No more double standards, no more excuses
European Commission vice-president for values and transparency Vera Jourova said there should be “no more double standards, no more excuses”.
“Women must know whether their employers treat and value them equally,” she said.
“For this to happen, we need more transparency on pay levels, starting already at job interviews. The new pay transparency rules will be a game-changer for women in Europe.”
ICTU social policy officer Laura Bambrick said the directive was “excellent” and meant those who were underpaid and undervalued in their old job would not have this “follow them” to the next one.
Litigation and compliance manager at Peninsula Ireland Nora Cashe said as things stood there was no legal right for a prospective employee to know what someone already doing the advertised job was being paid.
“The idea is that if the salary information is more readily available, it should help candidates with no professional connections avoid selling themselves short on salary and ultimately negotiate better pay and benefits,” she said.
General secretary of Isme Neil McDonnell said: “People tend to want to know the market-level for wages in their sector, even if they don’t want others to know what they themselves earn.”