Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Changes aim to remove barriers to filing pay equity claims

Jane Patterson, Political Editor @janepatterson

Cabinet will soon consider a range of recommendations aimed at making it easier to file a pay equity claim.

Photo: RNZ / Eva Corlett

Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter reconvened the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles in January.

The group, led by Traci Houpapa, had representatives from businesses, unions and the public sector.

It has recommended changes to the way pay equity claims are considered and the threshold they have to meet.

The changes, it said, should be enshrined in law by amending the Pay Equity Act 1972.

The initial intent was that identifying and initiating a claim would be a "simple and accessible process to all parties", but the group found this had not been the case.

In the original proposal, 'Principle 2' provided guidelines for pay equity claims, to "be used by the employer to determine the merit of a claim as a pay equity claim".

The group said parties involved in early claims found the concept of the word 'merit' created an "unintended barrier" to progressing claims and so that word would be removed.

Mr Lees-Galloway said the way Principle 2 was worded left it open to "quite a bit of interpretation".

"And the interpretation had got ratcheted up quite a long way so that quite high bars were being expected for whether or not there was merits to it."

He said there would be general criteria to be considered at the outset.

"Where there is a female-dominated occupation, where on the face of it there is a case to be made that that occupation has been underpaid over a period of time - that is all you really need to initiate a claim."

There could also be changes to the way comparisons to similar occupations are made, basically leaving it up to the parties involved to decide how best to do that, he said.

As well as changes to the way claims are assessed, the group said the government should make sure there were enough resources so all relevant pay and workforce data was accessible, and that regulatory and support agencies had the necessary skills.

The minister Iain Lees-Galloway said Cabinet would consider the recommendations and look to introduce legislation mid next year.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Brexit & Huawei Clusterfudges

Come December 2019, the West’s social democracies could be gone through quite a few changes at the top. More>>


UN Rights Declaration At 70: We Are All Born Free And Equal

On Article 1 of the UDHR: Dignity is the foundation of all human rights. Human beings have rights, and should be treated with utmost care, precisely because each one possesses intrinsic worth. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The (Delayed) Judgment Day For Theresa May

When under stress, British PM Theresa May reportedly eats peanut butter straight from the jar. Crunch time is looming... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Politely Fake Political Obituaries (And The Paris Discord)

One unfortunate side effect of “personality politics” is that when prominent politicians die, the niceties we observe at the death of private individuals get automatically extended to them as well... More>>


Unique And Vanishing: NZ Biodiversity Losses Match Global Crisis

One might think that it is buffered from some of the effects of biological erosion, especially since people only arrived less than 800 years ago. But as we show, the impact on wildlife has been catastrophic. More>>

Your Name Here(ish): Sponsor A Section On! has just launched Section Sponsorships - the newest way for you to gain exposure for your brand to Scoop’s high value audience of 500,000 monthly readers. More>>