Women would be among main beneficiaries of increased Employer’s PRSI
March 8th: In a statement released to coincide with International Women’s Day, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said today that increasing Employer’s PRSI to average EU levels could fund the social wage needed to help redress the gender pay gap.
“Nearly half of all women working in the market economy are employed in low-waged sectors such as hospitality and wholesale or retail, and within those sectors they are disproportionately likely to be on or just over the Minimum Wage.
“High levels of low pay are compounded by low levels of public services and income supports – ranging from affordable childcare to paid maternity leave. According to recent figures, Irish labour market benefits are near the bottom of the EU league table. There is a direct correlation between our low level of labour market benefits – the ‘social wage’ – and our super-low levels of Employer’s PRSI, which are among the lowest in the EU”, Jimmy Kelly pointed out.
Unite Regional Equalities Officer Taryn Trainor added:
“We need to address the root causes of low pay and the gender pay gap through a range of measures, including gradually increasing the National Minimum Wage to the Living Wage. We also need to provide robust labour rights from collective bargaining via stronger protections for part-time workers to measures designed to abolish precariousness – all of which would be particularly beneficial in the low-waged sectors where women are currently concentrated.
“At the same time however, we need to ensure that Irish women workers can access the same level of public services and income supports taken for granted in other European countries: we need to ensure that Irish women earn not only a decent wage, but a decent social wage.
“Increasing Employer’s PRSI to just the EU average would yield an additional €8 billion to invest in the services and supports on which working women depend. This would not only benefit those directly affected – it would also inject cash into the economy to help drive domestic demand.
“Ireland’s scandalously low levels of employer’s social insurance are anti-worker and anti-women”, Taryn Trainor concluded.