has applauded the New Zealand Government’s move to accept the recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity.
To be introduced via updates to the Equal Pay Act 1972 and amend the Employment Relations Act 2000, the effort will make it easier for women to file pay equity claims with their employers, rather than only litigating matters, and will also assist employers in addressing those claims.
“The Government has accepted the recommendations of the Joint Working Group, which set out principles for raising and resolving pay equity claims through bargaining,” State Services Minister Paula Bennett said in a statement last week.
The Joint Working Group reported back earlier this year with a number of recommendations, including principles to provide guidance to employers and employees in identifying, assessing and resolving pay equity claims.
The working group also proposed a process for employers and employees to follow to address pay equity, including a bargaining process based on the Employment Relations Act framework.
The Government’s response shows
that it agrees with all recommendations and also supplemented the recommendations in the area of choosing an appropriate job for comparison in claims.
“It seems to be an excellent initiative, to introduce a more orderly and accessible process around pay equity. It's good to see New Zealand making sure there are mechanisms in place to ensure gender equality for pay in our workplaces,” said Shan Wilson.
“This is a significant step forward for equal pay within New Zealand,” the Simpson Grierson
employment partner added.
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