Just under a quarter of the companies that are legally required to obtain equal pay certification still had yet to do so at the end of 2021. This according to new data published by the Directorate of Equality on Friday. A total of 415 companies should have completed certification by the end of 2021, but 94 (22.65%) of them had yet to do so.
The equal pay certification mandate applies to any company that employs 25 or more workers on an annual basis, using the calendar year as a reference period. Per the government’s website, 147,000 employees, or roughly 80% of those who are active on the labour market, are covered by this mandate.
The data shows that it is primarily companies with 90-149 employees that have yet to complete their certification. Fifty-eight of the 98 companies in this bracket, or 59.18%, are currently uncertified. Fifteen of the 54 qualifying municipalities (27.78%) have also yet to complete the certification.
Equal pay certification became a legal mandate in July 2017, with the goal of “combating the gender pay gap and promoting gender equality in the labour market.” As of November 14, 2018, however, the grace period for companies to acquire certification was extended. Companies with an average of 250 employees or more were supposed to complete certification by December 31, 2019. Companies with an average of 150-249 employees were given until December 31, 2020. Companies with 90-142 employees had until December 31, 2021. Companies with 25-89 employees have until the end of this year.
Per Friday’s announcement, however, the Directorate of Equality now believes that those companies that were supposed to complete the certification process by the end of 2019 and 2020 have been given “ample time” to do so. As such, the Directorate is currently preparing to announce its decision on the imposition of daily fines.