Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse has released an exposure draft of the Pay Equity Bill for public consultation.
This week, the Government announced a $2 billion pay equity settlement for some of the health sector’s lowest-paid workers following the TerraNova pay equity claim.
The settlement, which begins in the first pay run after 1 July 2017, will be introduced over five years.
“The Government is committed to achieving pay equity in New Zealand and providing a practical and fair process for employees to follow if they feel they are not being paid what their job is worth due to gender discrimination,” Mr Woodhouse says.
“The (TerraNova) settlement recognises the important work carried out by our aged and disability residential care services and complements the work being done by the Government to implement the Joint Working Group’s recommendations on Pay Equity.”
“Today’s release of the draft Pay Equity Bill for public consultation is a key step towards implementing those recommendations and aims to ensure that the wording in the legislation is clear and workable for employers and employees.
“Currently, the Equal Pay Act is not equipped to provide guidance on pay equity claims and needs to be updated to provide for a practical and fair process for employees to follow if they feel they are not being paid what their job is worth due to gender discrimination.
“The draft bill also provides principles for, and gives guidance on, how to choose comparable jobs and roles to judge Pay Equity claims.
“I want to thank the Council of Trade Unions and Business NZ for providing early feedback on the draft Bill. I look forward to their continued contributions during the exposure draft process to ensure key clauses reflect our goal to provide guidance. I encourage everyone to get involved in the consultation process and make sure they have their say on this very important piece of legislation.”
Consultation closes on 11 May and legislation is planned to be introduced soon after.
For more about the consultation process visit www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/employment-skills/legislation-reviews/exposure-draft-employment-pay-equity-and-equal-pay-bill.