New Zealand Law Society - Pay equity working group reports to Government

Pay equity working group reports to Government

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The Joint Working Group tasked with recommending principles for dealing with pay equity claims under the Equal Pay Act have reported back to the Government.

State Services Minister Paula Bennett has thanked members of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles for "their commitment to improving our pay equity laws".

"It is important that the process for addressing pay equity claims is clear and workable for all parties," she says.

The Joint Working Group reported made several recommendations, including:

  • A set of principles to provide guidance to employers and employees in implementing pay equity, including criteria for considering whether a claim has merit as a pay equity claim and high-level guidance on how pay equity rates are established.
  • A process for employers and employees to follow to address pay equity, which sets out a bargaining process based on the Employment Relations Act framework

The working group of union, business and government representatives was established last October following the decision of the Court of Appeal in TerraNova, which held that that women in predominantly female workforces could make a claim for pay equity under the Equal Pay Act.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse says the Government will consider the Group's recommendations and "expects to respond to them shortly".

"This is a very important issue, and while a lot of progress has been made through this process, it's important we take the time to get it right."

More information on the Joint Working Group's terms of reference can be found here.