Gender pay gap widening in Ireland

The gap between women and men’s hourly earnings in Ireland is getting wider, according to the latest figures from the European Commission.

According to the report, the gender pay gap in Ireland in 2010 was 13.9%, up slightly from 2009, when it was 12.6%.

However, this is in contrast to the 2007 figure of 17.3%.

The figure also compares favourably to the European average of 16.2%. In 2010, Slovenia had the smallest gender pay gap, at 0.9%, while one of the largest was Estonia at 27.7%.

"With laws guaranteeing equal pay for equal work, equality in the workplace and minimum rights to maternity leave, gender equality is a European achievement. But there is still a way to go to full gender equality,” said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner.

"The pay gap is still large and it is not budging. To make things worse: much of the change actually resulted from a decline in men’s earnings rather than an increase for women"

“The principle of equal pay for equal work is written in the EU Treaties since 1957. It is high time that it becomes a reality in the workplace as well."

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