How do you address the gender pay gap? This is the question the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles (the JWG) had to answer when it was established by the government in 2015. This group consists of government, employer and union representatives and was tasked with recommending equal pay principles for government consideration.
The JWG reported back with recommendations in May 2016, these were accepted by the Government last November, and it is expected to introduce legislation to amend the Equal Pay Act and Employment Relations Act in the next few months, to recognise the principles applying to equal pay claims and the process for resolving these.
In addition to the JWG’s work, this week a private member’s bill on pay parity by Green Party MP Jan Logie has been drawn from the ballot. If passed, employers will be required to pass on pay rate information for men and women in the same role to Employment New Zealand (formerly the Department of Labour). Employees will also be able to ask their employer to provide data showing the pay and gender for all employees doing the same kind of work.
Gender equality and equal pay has been a hot topic lately. Employment Law Partner, Shima Grice, was recently interviewed for a story published in the Bay of Plenty Times.
If you would like advice on your obligations as an employer, or on how to manage employee requests for information on pay or other issues, please contact our employment law team.