Greens Win Pay Equity Clause
In last minute negotiations, the Greens have convinced Associate Justice Minister, Margaret Wilson, to include a raft of changes that strengthen the role of the new Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Commissioner.
The Human Rights Amendment Bill establishes a full-time Commissioner to take leadership of the campaign to ensure workers are not discriminated against.
"We're really pleased to have had this opportunity to give some teeth to the role of the new Commissioner," said Green Party Employment spokesperson, Sue Bradford.
Despite the concept of "equal pay for equal work" being enshrined in law since 1972, women's average hourly rates are still 15% less than men's.
"After years of campaigning by union women all over New Zealand it's great to have progress towards equal pay for work of equal value enshrined in this Bill," Sue Bradford said.
Changes that the Greens have lobbied for, and which the Government has agreed to include in the Bill include requirements that:
* pay equity be included in the functions of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner;
* the Commissioner monitor and analyse progress in improving equal employment opportunities in New Zealand;
* the Commissioner develop benchmarks to evaluate the role legislation and voluntary codes of practice play in achieving equal employment opportunities.
These changes are included in the Supplementary Order Paper tabled today by the Government.