Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Equal Pay Recommendations.

20.

asked the Minister for Finance if he will state the present position in regard to the recommendations of the interim report of the Commission on the Status of Women in regard to equal pay for equal work.

The present position in regard to equal pay for women is as indicated in the budget statement on 19th April. Briefly to summarise what the Minister said on that occasion, the Government have accepted equal pay in principle. As recommended in the interim report, the Employer-Labour Conference have arranged that the working party established to negotiate on pay with a view to reaching a new national agreement will take the recommendations of the commission into account in these negotiations. Further action by the Government will be taken in the light of the conference's findings.

In addition, the various restrictions under statute or regulation which comprise the "marriage-bar" in the public service are being examined. It is hoped that all non-statutory restrictions on the employment of married women will be ended as soon as possible and that the necessary legislation for the repeal of any statutory restrictions and for the prohibition of restrictions on the employment of married women generally will be enacted within the period of two years recommended in the interim report.