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Pay Equity Challenge

Media release

07 December 2012

EEO Trust Calls For Businesses To Take Responsibility For Pay Equity

The Equal Employment Opportunities Trust says it’s up to businesses to address the gender pay gap and many large corporations are doing just that. The EEO Trust Chair, Michael Barnett, says men are paid at least ten percent more than women and statistics show there are several reasons for this.

“Figures from Statistics NZ outline that more than double the number of women compared to men work part time, and also work in lower paid jobs such as clerical and health support. At the same time twice as many men are in higher paid managerial roles compared to women.”

Mr Barnett says it’s a shame that jobs such as rest home carers, hospitality staff, and education employees are not as well paid. “However employers must take responsibility for paying their staff appropriately, not the government. I am encouraging healthcare providers, for example, to review their workers’ pay on a regular basis to ensure they receive the remuneration and on-going training they deserve.”

Mr Barnett says he is witnessing an increase in businesses conducting pay equity audits to ensure women are paid the same as their male counterparts, and promoted through the career pipeline, on merit. “I am proud of these businesses.”

Mr Barnett says changes are happening and the EEO Trust is working alongside businesses to ensure they focus on equal employment opportunities for all employees. “Such policies are vital to a company’s success and having central government legislate will not empower businesses to take a position of leadership or responsibility for pay equity. It will merely impose yet another compliance cost on a business which none of us want to see.”


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