Submissions open on Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill

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Submissions are open on the Government's bill to provide a process for future pay equity claims.

The Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill includes processes for making and resolving pay equity claims. It would amend the Employment Relations Act 2000, and repeal and replace the Equal Pay Act 1972 and the Government Service Equal Pay Act 1960.

Submissions close on 1 November 2017.

Unions and others have argued the bill would make it significantly more difficult for workers in female-dominated occupations to pursue pay equity claims by placing new and unreasonably onerous requirements on claimants (see media list below).

In April 2017, the Ministry of Business, Immigration and Employment (MBIE) sought written submissions on an exposure draft of the Bill. The submissions received are available on MBIE's website.

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue says she is concerned that despite receiving almost 100 submissions suggesting changes to the draft exposure Employment Bill, the Government has left it largely unaltered.

Background information

The previous NZFVC news story provides further information including resources on the links between gender equality (including pay equity) and preventing violence against women:

Pay equity and violence against women; draft legislation will affect future claims

The Government introduced the bill following the 2017 pay equity settlement for workers in the aged care, disability residential care and home and community support services, who are predominantly women. E tū (formerly the Service and Food Workers Union) lodged a claim under the Equal Pay Act 1972 on behalf of Kristine Bartlett against her employer rest home TerraNova Ltd in 2012.

Related information

In May 2017, Jan Logie's Member's Bill the Equal Pay Amendment Bill was voted down in Parliament. This bill's purpose was to help remove discrimination in pay rates between men and women in the same jobs by making publicly available statistical information relating to their rates of remuneration. It was intended that making this information available would improve the likelihood of successful cases to be taken under the Equal Pay Act 1972 to seek remedies when such discrimination exists.

The Ministry for Women has recently published a new guide, Closing the gender pay gap: Actions for employers (2017).

Media

Educators First in Line to Vote Early for Pay Equity, Press Release: NZEI Te Riu Roa, Scoop, 11.09.2017

Gender pay gap reduction great news for women, Press Release: Beehive, 01.09.2017

Is pay equity just too hard for this Govt?, Opinion: Jan Logie, 05.08.2017

Judy McGregor: Pay equity - What are women's choices at the polls?, NZ Herald, 28.08.2017

Pay equity comments misleading, Press Release: Coalition for Equal Value Equal Pay – CEVEP, 20.08.2017

Govt rejects claims Pay Equity Bill will make things harder, Press release: New Zealand Government, 19.08.2017

Equal pay advocate Bartlett ‘let down’ by Govt, Newsroom, 17.08.2017

Mental health and addiction workers pay equity claim, Ministry of Health News article, 16.08.2017

New pay scale for care & support workers, Press Release: Beehive, 16.08.2017

Ardern: Labour will not rest until there is pay equity, NZ Herald, 12.08.2017

Historic Bill or Opportunity Missed? Press Release: Human Rights Commission, 10.08.2017

E tū: Government lacks support for pay equity bill, Press release: E Tū, 10.08.2017

Equal pay bill makes things harder, not easier, for women – NZNO, NZ Doctor, 10.08.2017

National’s ‘pay equity’ Bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Press release: PSA, Scoop, 08.08.2017

Further backlash against pay equity bill, HRD, 08.08.2017

Union, MPs rally against Pay Equity Bill, Newshub, 08.08.2017

Equal pay bill due for first reading amid claims it worsens outlook for women, Stuff, 06.08.2017

Opposition parties urged to vote against pay equity bill, Press release: E Tū, 01.08.2017

Pay Equity Bill introduced, Beehive: Michael Woodhouse, 26.07.2017

Pay equity claim to unite ECE sector, Press Release: NZEI Te Riu Roa, 27.06.2017