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Taoiseach must clarify his contentious remarks on Gender Pay Gap - Clifford-Lee

- Gender pay inequality and gender imbalance continues to thrive in workplaces across Ireland –

Fianna Fáil Senator and Seanad Spokesperson for Justice, Lorraine Clifford-Lee has

said that despite significant progress towards women’s economic independence in Ireland, women remain at a disadvantage in the workplace.

It was reported earlier this week that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar expressed some reservations regarding the Gender Pay Gap in Ireland, which stands at 14%.

Senator Clifford-Lee, Chair of the Oireachtas Cross Party Group on Workplace Equality, hosted a briefing in Leinster House this week on the need for enhanced policy and legislative measures to address the gender pay gap in Ireland.

She said, “This month last year the Taoiseach “welcomed’ a review of the gender pay gap which was exposed in our State broadcaster. A matter of weeks ago he publically supported Ms Christine Lagarde’s calls for Government to ensure greater gender equality on institutional boards.

“The Programme for Government sets out a clear commitment to reduce the gender pay gap and Cabinet has just recently approved the General Scheme of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill.

“It’s hard fathom then why our Taoiseach would now suddenly choose to veer from offering anything but resounding support for legislation to be introduced to eliminate the Gender Pay Gap.

“It is no where near enough to just acknowledge the existing gap that persists and the obstacles to achieving gender balance at all levels in organisations. The women of Ireland expect the rationale behind it to be explained and in this regard, the Taoiseach must clarify the comments he made in New York earlier this week.

Clifford-Lee added, “The introduction of Gender Pay Information legislation in the UK last year exposed the Gender Pay Gap in companies and employers have now begun making positive changes to recruitment policies, career progression frameworks and pay.

“Gender Pay Gap legislation is needed to transform poor workplace culture and practices for the countless Irish women that remain affected.

“The Taoiseach has a responsibility to make sure employers, policymakers and the general public are clear about the impact that it is having on our society, not further contribute to the confusion, “concluded Clifford-Lee.

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