Government reconvenes Pay Equity Working Group

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Wellington, January 23, 2018

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter are reconvening the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles as the next step in pay equity for New Zealand women.

Mr Lees-Galloway said that the original Joint Working Group, set up in 2015, developed a set of principles to guide the implementation of pay equity but the legislation introduced by the previous Government made it harder for women to make a pay equity claim.

Previous Legislation withdrawn

“The legislation proposed by the previous Government was withdrawn from Parliament as one of the very first things we did. The old legislation undermined the original Joint Working Group principles and created unnecessary hurdles for workers raising claims,” says Mr Lees-Galloway.

“All three parties of the new Government were opposed to the previous legislation and said that we would not rest until New Zealand workers have genuine opportunities for pay equity. By reconvening the Joint Working Group, we can address these issues and propose new legislation to provide a fairer deal for women,” he said.

Improving fairness

Ms Genter said that the new Government is committed to improving fairness in the workplace for women.

“Our priority is making sure women working in women-dominated jobs get paid fairly. This Government will do better by all women. A woman should not be paid less just because she is a woman working in a female dominated industry. As Minister for Women, I am committed to addressing pay equity for New Zealand women,” she said.

The Tripartite Partners

The tripartite partners include Government representatives, unions led by the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, and employers led by BusinessNZ and the Employers and Manufacturers Association.

“I am pleased to announce Traci Houpapa as facilitator of the Joint Working Group. She is a respected leader in working with business, iwi and diverse stakeholders. Ms Houpapa is also a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. I’m confident she will do an outstanding job of supporting the Joint Working Group,” Mr Lees-Galloway said.

The Key Issues

The key issues the reconvened Joint Working Group will consider are (a) Determining the merit of a claim as a pay equity claim and (b) How to select appropriate male comparators when assessing the work subject to a pay equity claim.

The Joint Working Group will meet tomorrow, Wednesday, January 24, 2018, and make its recommendations to Ministers by the end of February 2018.

“Once we receive the recommendations we will work to develop pay equity legislation which we expect to introduce mid-2018,” Ms Genter said.

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Traci Houpapa with Julie Anne Genter and Iain Lees-Galloway

(Picture Supplied)

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