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Measuring the Gender Pay gap… or not… June 5, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Gender Issues, Irish Politics.

Here’s a small straw in the wind which indicates something troubling… this from the Equality Authority and the ESRI’s Gender and the Quality of Work: From Boom to Recession report, part of the Equality Research Series, page xii:

The scale of the changes in employment rates and earnings since 2007 mean that for evidence-based policy, it is essential that changes in employment and pay among men and women across the economy are monitored adequately. Yet exchequer figures on public service numbers are not provided on a gender disaggregated basis, and gender-differentiated statistics on pay have been a casualty of cuts in public expenditure in Ireland. The National Employment Survey (NES) which provided the figures for monitoring the gender pay gap was discontinued in 2009, and the new Earnings, Hours and Employment Costs Survey (EHECS) does not include information on the gender of employees. Therefore there are no national figures on the gender pay gap published for 2011 and 2012, a crucial period in wage development in Ireland.

Some might think that convenient. And it continues:

For future years, the CSO plans to produce a dataset that covers broadly the same grounds as the NES, by combining Revenue Commissioners’ data, QNHS and Census data


Despite some signs of recovery in the labour market, it is likely that the analysis in the report has not measured the full extent of the recession and cuts in public expenditure on gender differences. For example, the Haddington Road Agreement (in May 2013) introduced for public sector workers further significant cuts in pay, increases in working hours and changes to work scheduling and flexibility in the form of adjustments to job-sharing and flexi-time arrangements. These changes have potential implications for gender differences in working conditions, yet there was no gender impact assessment of either the Haddington Road Agreement or the preceding Croke Park Agreement. It will be equally important to measure gender outcomes in the labour market when Ireland emerges from recession and austerity.


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