Pay equity bill making history for women
Recently New Zealand celebrated one of our most outstanding achievements — the 125th anniversary of when we made world history with women’s suffrage. Our Government added a little history of its own on that day, introducing legislation that makes it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim.
The Government is taking the next step to address historic inequities in pay for women, with the introduction of the Equal Pay Amendment Bill. We’re doing this because it’s time that women and men, who perform work of the same value, are paid the same.
There’s no special treatment here, just a desire for equal treatment; a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, fair to all New Zealanders regardless of gender. The bill establishes a just and practical framework to address pay discrimination in femaledominated occupations. This is an important step in improving fairness in the workplace for women. Discrimination has led to lower pay for many female-dominated industries, despite having similar working conditions and skill requirements to comparable male-dominated occupations.
It’s essential that the pay equity framework is accessible to workers, familiar to businesses and easy to manage for both, and we’re actually providing certainty and limitations around potential back-pay claims where now there currently is none.
Our commitment to the principles of equal pay was underlined by our very first actions as a new Government — we acted swiftly to remove the previous Government’s
Government is taking the next step to address historic inequities in pay for women, with the introduction of the Equal Pay Amendment Bill. We’re doing this because it’s time that women and men, who perform work of the same value, are paid the
legislation that would’ve set hurdles far too high for lodging pay equity claims.
There’s an unkind irony that the previous Government celebrated the pay equity settlement for care and support workers — hard fought and eventually won by Kristine Bartlett — then promptly introduced legislation that made it impossible for people to achieve the same outcomes as Kristine.
Our Government removed those hurdles because it was the right thing to do. We have so much to be proud of in New Zealand, and high among them is our sense of justice and fairness. That’s why this Government made history for Kiwi women workers.