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Retail sector a prime opportunity to close gender pay gap

For immediate release 15/08/2018

Retail sector a prime opportunity to close in on the gender gap

Statistics New Zealand has announced today the gender pay gap is the second smallest since records began 20 years ago, 9.2 percent for the June 2018 quarter. The lowest was 9.1 percent in 2012.

FIRST Union retail, finance and commerce secretary Tali Williams says while the figures are moving, there’s still a long way to go and the retail sector provides the perfect opportunity to address the imbalance.

The figures are moving in the right direction however as the retail workers union we are concerned to note that part time workers continue to experience a higher impact from the gender pay gap than full time workers. The retail industry has a high proportion of part time workers and a high proportion of women workers so it is workers in this industry that continue to suffer the gender pay gap.”

Ms Williams says woman are disadvantaged in many areas of work, but if the work hours and pay in retail were increased it would go a long way to balancing out the gender differences.

This disadvantages so many women but it also presents an opportunity, if we can get this sector right it would go far to closing the gender gap. We encourage more companies to come on board our Worth It campaign that seeks to provide the Living Wage of $20.55 an hour, give workers enough hours to live on, and to ensure that as the minimum wage goes up, so too do existing pay rates relative to this.”

ENDS

Editor’s note: The Worth It campaign:

The campaign calls on employers in the retail industry to pay workers a Living Wage of $20.55 an hour, give workers enough hours to live on, and ensure that as the minimum wage increases, so too do existing pay rates relative to this.

This is in response to the overwhelming underpayment and underemployment of workers in this sector. Many retail workers in New Zealand currently survive on minimum wage rates and don’t have enough hours of work to live on. Pay rates and work hours are so low that employers struggle to fill vacancies, and a pay crisis is already in effect as the average retail worker struggles to live. The campaign was set up as an opportunity for retail brands to instil more ethical work practices.


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