The Labour-led Government has introduced the Equal Pay Amendment Bill to Parliament.
The bill aims to improve the process for raising and progressing pay equity claims, and to eliminate and prevent discrimination on the basis of sex in the remuneration and employment terms and conditions for work done within female-dominated jobs.
“On the day we celebrate 125 years since New Zealand made world history with women’s suffrage, I’m enormously proud that this Government is taking the next step to address historic inequities in pay for women,” says the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Iain Lees-Galloway.
Mr Lees-Galloway says the bill followed all the recommendations of the reconvened and original Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles, without the hurdles planned by the previous Government that would’ve made it too hard to raise pay equity claims.
“On Women’s Suffrage Day this Government is acting to remove barriers to pay equity claims. It’s essential that the pay equity framework is accessible to workers, familiar to businesses and easy to manage for both.
The bill was jointly introduced by the Acting Minister for Women Eugenie Sage.
“It’s time that women and men who perform work of the same value are paid the same,” says Ms Sage. “We must continue to close the gender pay gap, and this bill is one piece of the puzzle to achieve that.
“The bill establishes a just and practical framework to address pay discrimination in female-dominated occupations. This is an important step in improving fairness in the workplace for women.
“The legislation clarifies what a pay equity claim is and what the process is for addressing it. Discrimination has led to lower pay for many female-dominated industries, despite having similar working conditions and skill requirements to comparable male-dominated occupations,” says Eugenie Sage.