Government acts to close gender pay gap

Women Workplace Relations and Safety

Government action on pay transparency announced today marks a significant step in closing the pay gap for Kiwi women.

Around 900 entities with over 250 employees will be required to publicly report their gender pay gap, and later those with over 100 workers, Minister for Women Jan Tinetti and Associate Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Priyanca Radhakrishnan have announced. 

“The reality is that women have different experiences in the workplace than men, and change is needed. Requiring companies to publish their gender pay gap will encourage them to address the drivers of those gaps and increase transparency for workers,” Minister for Women Jan Tinetti said.

“This move is part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to make New Zealand an equitable and desirable place for people to live, work, and do business

“Countries we compare ourselves to including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom have already successfully introduced gender pay gap reporting. We need to ensure we’re staying in line with international standards to attract highly skilled women to New Zealand and do what’s right as an inclusive and forward-thinking country,” Jan Tinetti said.

“Today marks an important step to address inequity in the workplace. Initially, around 900 entities will be required to report their pay gap, and then after four years, this will increase to almost 2,700. Action plans will be voluntary at the start, and we will review this after three years to determine whether it needs to be made mandatory,” Associate Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. 

“The Government is also committed to exploring the inclusion of ethnicity in pay gap reporting as Māori, Pacific peoples and other ethnic groups often face the compounding impact of both gender and ethnic pay gaps. Through this next phase of consultation we’ll be able to consider the inclusion of ethnicity before legislation is drafted.

“We’ve made the decision to announce our plan to introduce a reporting system early in the process so we can ensure that we get wide ranging input from stakeholders to inform the design of the system before legislation outlining the system is drafted.

“We know that many businesses are leading the charge and are already reporting their gender pay gap. Around 200 companies including Spark, Air New Zealand, My Food Bag, and Sharesies are already or committed to voluntarily reporting their gender pay gap. We’ll be engaging with them to learn from their experience and establish a universal model for reporting so there is consistency and guidance for employers and workers,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

“I’d like to thank the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) who have played a critical role in providing insight from the business sector and getting us to this point, as well as the many other businesses and organisations who continue to work to increase equity in the workplace,” Jan Tinetti said.