Petition invites Labour inspectors to audit the pay gap
Following statements from the Minister of Labour that Labour Inspectors have the power to investigate issues of equal pay in the workplace, the CTU and Green Party have today launched a campaign to encourage workers to invite the inspectors in to their workplaces to check the time and wage records of their employers for any discrimination.
CTU President, Helen Kelly said "Catherine Delahunty has drawn up legislation that would enable workers to have access to these records for the purpose of investigating equal pay issues but the Ministers of Labour and Women's Affairs have told us that new legislation is not needed because workers can already find out pay information by asking a Labour Inspector to investigate a complaint. We do not believe inspectors have the capacity to do this role and think that if workers are able to have the information first - then complaints to the inspectors will be based on knowledge of pay inequality rather than relying on the inspectors in the first instance to inspect all workplaces. However the Minister has said the current system will work and we are going to test it!"
Helen Kelly said that by workers joining together and seeking inspections in their workplaces, they will not be singled out by employers who will be concerned when inspectors turn up to see the books.
"The petition takes the Ministers' advice and asks for workplaces to be investigated to see if there is equal pay, with the objective to show how difficult it is to see wage records and whether there men and women in the same workplace are being paid equally."
"We're not aware of anyone ever using the mechanism that the Ministers say exists - but that needs to be demonstrated. The petition can be signed either individually or workers in a workplace can all sign it as collective action.
"This is a simple action many workers could take to support pay equity and keeps the focus on pay inequity in New Zealand," said Helen Kelly.