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Gender pay gap needs legislative solution

10 August 2011

Gender pay gap needs legislative solution

A Goldman Sachs report on the gender pay gap is right to highlight the problem, but it won’t be solved by simply encouraging women into male-dominated trades or appointing more women to boards, the Green Party said today.

“Women earn on average 12 percent less than men per hour,” Green Party Women’s Affairs Spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“The Goldman Sachs report is right to highlight that it is in everyone’s interests to close this gap and unlock the hidden value of the female workforce.

“However, the answer is not simply to encourage women into male-dominated trades and appoint more women to boards, as was suggested by Women’s Affairs Minister Hekia Parata today.

“There is significant anecdotal evidence to suggest that even in the same jobs, men are being paid more than women.

“This has been illegal since 1972 under the Equal Pay Act, but in the modern workplace, it is almost impossible for women to find out whether they are being paid less than men for doing the same job.”

Ms Delahunty said her Equal Pay Amendment Bill would help to address this problem by requiring employers to collect information about gender pay and make it available.

“I am pleased to see that the report acknowledges that making pay information more available is one way to bring the gender pay issue to the fore.

“The best way to make information available is to amend the existing legislation to ensure that it is doing what it is designed to do: guarantee that women and men doing the same job get the same pay.”

ENDS

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