Victory for employees
Women will be able to file complaints over pay equality with their employers, rather than the courts, following a Government decision to back the recommendations of an expert panel.
It has been described as a ‘‘landmark’’ win by unions, which have applauded the decision.
The announcement was made by senior ministers, who confirmed the Government had agreed to principles that would provide guidance to both employers and employees in how to assess and resolve claims.
It also laid out a process for bargaining, to address pay equity in the workforce.
The Government set up a working group more than a year ago, to address the pay gap between men and women.
It delivered its recommendations to Cabinet earlier this year, and the Government has agreed to all 21 recommendations.
That included one to compare roles between males and females, as part of the assessment to discover whether gender-based pay discrimination was at play.
Labour Leader Andrew Little says the decision is a result of Kristine Bartlett and her union E tu¯.
Last year Bartlett fronted a case against TerraNova, on pay rates in the aged care sector.
Kristine Bartlett took on her employer to address historic discrimination in her industry.