New Zealand Law Society - Pay Equity and Equal Pay Bill introduced

Pay Equity and Equal Pay Bill introduced

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Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse has introduced the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill to Parliament.

The purpose of the bill is to eliminate and prevent discrimination, on the basis of sex, in the remuneration and other terms and conditions of employment, and in doing so, promote enduring settlement of claims relating to sex discrimination on pay equity grounds.

Mr Woodhouse says the bill implements the recommendations made by the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles and aims to address one of the material barriers to achieving pay equity.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment sought written submissions on an exposure draft of the bill in April 2017.

“The Bill provides a practical and fair process for employees to follow if they feel they are not being paid what their job is worth," Mr Woodhouse says.

“It will also make it easier for employees to file pay equity claims directly with their employers rather than having to go through the courts."

He says the bill includes regulation making powers that prescribe additional matters than can be taken into account when considering whether a pay equity claim has merit, matters that can be considered as part of a pay equity assessment, and identifying appropriate comparators.

If enacted, the bill will repeal and replace the Equal Pay Act 1972 and the Government Service Equal Pay Act 1960, and amend the Employment Relations Act 2000.