Gender pay gap of 5.7pc revealed by PwC Ireland

Stock photo: PA

David Chance

PwC Ireland became the first of the "Big Four" professional services firms to publish the differential between pay for men and women, and said it was a lot lower than the average for Irish companies.

The company said that its gender pay gap was 5.7pc, compared with the 13.9pc reported as the average by business group Ibec.

"We are confident that we pay all of our people equally for doing equivalent work, and our gender pay gap analysis highlights that the gap is largely driven by the fact that there are more men in senior roles within the business," said Emma Scott, people partner at PwC Ireland.

"While we have strong female representation at 54pc firm-wide, this reduces somewhat at very senior levels."

The Government plans to introduce legislation for mandatory gender pay gap reporting for business. This will oblige businesses to publish statutory calculations each year, showing the extent of the pay gap between what women earn as a group and what men earn as a group.

The legislation is still at the drafting stage, PwC said.

In the UK, companies with more than 250 employees have been required to report their gender pay gap since September 2017. The plan here mirrors that in the UK, although trade unions are pressing for a lower limit and say the 250-employee barrier would cover less than 60pc of workers.

Overall wages in Ireland have surged in recent years as the economy, which grew 8.2pc in 2018, has generated record numbers in work.

According to Ibec, real after-tax household income here has grown by a quarter in five years, a faster pace than any other developed economy.