Gender pay gaps at the local authorities are relatively low across the board
Women earn more than men at 13 of the country’s city and county councils.
A survey of gender pay reports published by the 31 local authorities for the first time under new legislation shows that women earn up to 7pc more than men at some councils.
These councils are in Clare, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Mayo, Offaly, Roscommon, South Dublin, Wexford, Wicklow and Galway.
The survey reveals the difference in wages ranges from more than 6pc in favour of male employees at Carlow County Council to 7pc in favour of women at Clare County Council.
However, the gender pay gaps at the local authorities are relatively low across the board.
They are also far less than the latest recorded national average gap, which sits at around 11pc.
Most council workers’ earnings are determined by incremental pay scales that rise over time and vary depending on the role
Gender pay gap legislation requires organisations with more than 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap.
The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of males and females in all roles in an organisation.
Most council workers’ earnings are determined by incremental pay scales that rise over time and vary depending on the role.
Council staff include accountants, administrative workers, architects, conservation officers, archaeologists, archivists, engineers, fire services, health and safety, library service staff, planners and management.
A Clare County Council spokesperson said its pay gap report showed it had a mean gender pay gap of minus 7.04pc in favour of women, and a median gender pay gap of minus 15.73pc.
“Publishing our gender pay gap data helps to reinforce our focus on supporting an open and inclusive workplace at Clare County Council,” said the spokesperson.
“Our organisation is a place where all employees have the same opportunities for recognition and career development and are treated fairly and equitably at work.
“We continue to be committed to addressing workplace barriers to equality and creating an open and inclusive workplace community.
“Many equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives and supports are already in place, and we will continue to work in this area.”
The spokesperson said the council offers flexible and family-friendly arrangements, blended working and great career progression and education opportunities.
The council’s report says the workforce is 62pc male and 38pc female, but a higher proportion of men are employed in lower grades. It says there is a strong representation of women in senior roles.
Carlow County Council has been an equal opportunities employer for decades now, with equal pay and equality of opportunity
Although Carlow County Council has the highest average pay gap, a spokesperson noted that the median hourly rate for women is higher than for men.
“It is said that the median is a better indicator than the mean,” the spokesperson said.
“Carlow County Council is a small local authority in relation to numbers employed and therefore small numbers in a particular category can have a disproportionate effect on the figures.
“Carlow County Council has been an equal opportunities employer for decades now, with equal pay and equality of opportunity.”
He said that in the case where a person took time off for family reasons – for example, a career break – that this tended to be mainly women.
This can have an effect on their incremental progression because it takes longer to ascend the pay scale.
“So a person who did not take a career break, which tend to be mainly men, would have a higher hourly rate and this is likely a contributory reason why the gender pay gap is higher for males,” he said.
He said the council promoted family-friendly policies such as work sharing, a shorter working year, and career breaks to encourage work-life balance and make working for the council “a job of choice”.