Making history for women’s pay in New Zealand

On the 125th anniversary of the day New Zealand made history with women’s suffrage, the Government has introduced legislation that makes history for women’s pay, say the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Acting Minister for Women Eugenie Sage.

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework.

“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 Iain Lees-Galloway.

“It’s time that women and men who perform work of the same value are paid the same,” says Eugenie 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.

Iain 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.

“By using New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework, employers and workers can negotiate in good faith, with access to mediation and resolution services readily available,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.

Both Ministers acknowledged the contributions of the reconvened and original Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles, and the many others who have been involved in this journey towards achieving pay equity.