Westminster must legislate to extend gender pay gap disclosure duty to employers in Northern Ireland
March 8th: Speaking on International Women’s Day, Unite Regional Women’s & Equalities Officer, Taryn Trainor, called on Westminster to legislate to vindicate the rights and protections of women in Northern Ireland:
“As a result of legislation passed last year, employers with more than 250 staff in England, Scotland and Wales are required under law to annually publish their gender pay gap figures. The first set of returns are due by April of this year but the more than 1,500 which have already been submitted show that just more than three quarters pay female employees less than their male colleagues.
“These statistics are of vital importance in the campaign to secure gender pay equality. The absence of a duty on employers in Northern Ireland to provide this information leaves women here disadvantaged in challenging those who continue to pay women less.
“The absence of a functioning, locally-accountable Executive has meant legislation that would have extended this duty on employers has never been passed.
“The political logjam existing between the parties should not be allowed to hold back progress when it comes to women’s equality. In the context of continued political failure, in addition to wider legislation to deliver full women’s equality, including abortion rights, Westminster must extend gender pay gap duties to employers in Northern Ireland.
“On the day when the world celebrates the contribution of women and focuses on the continued struggle for gender equality, we must resolve to secure for women in Northern Ireland the same rights and protections they receive in all other parts of the United Kingdom”, Ms Trainor said.