The Government will consider recommendations to make it easier for New Zealanders to lodge pay equity claims, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Women, Julie Anne Genter announced today.
The reconvened Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles has reported back to the Ministers, recommending clarifying and simplifying the process for initiating a pay equity claim, making no changes to the principles on comparators, and amending the Equal Pay Act 1972 to implement the principles.
Minister Lees-Galloway says the working group was reconvened last month to develop further recommendations that supplement the existing set of principles, developed by the original Joint Working Group in 2016.
“The previous Government introduced legislation that set unnecessary hurdles for women to make a pay equity claim, so we reconvened the working group to investigate how we can provide a fairer deal for women,” says Mr Lees-Galloway.
“This Government is committed to a better deal for women. These recommendations form the strong foundation needed for improving fairness in the workplace for women,” says Ms Genter.
“People on the working group are on the front lines of negotiating pay equity claims, and their agreement on these important issues means a lot,” says Ms Genter.
Mr Lees-Galloway says the recommendations will soon be considered at Cabinet. “We will consider the recommendations and look to introduce legislation mid-year,” he says.
“I’d like to thank the members of the working group, facilitated by Traci Houpapa and led by Business NZ, the Council of Trade Unions and the Crown, for their quick and comprehensive work,” says Mr Lees-Galloway. “This Government believes that a collaborative approach trumps the combative approach of the previous Government.”
The Government has recently agreed to negotiate an agreement to extend the Care and Support Workers Pay Equity Settlement to the estimated 3800 mental health and addiction support workers in New Zealand.