A bill seeking to prevent sexist labour practices was introduced by Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse to Parliament on Wednesday.
Among other things, the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill
aims to prevent discrimination in remuneration and other terms and conditions of employment based on sex. It also provides different processes employees can use to make claims.
The legislation implements recommendations by the government-established Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles. “The bill provides a practical and fair process for employees to follow if they feel they are not being paid what their job is worth. It will also make it easier for employees to file pay equity claims directly with their employers rather than having to go through the courts,” said Woodhouse.
He said the bill includes regulation-making powers that prescribe additional matters that can be taken into account when considering:
- whether a pay equity claim has merit
- matters that can be considered as part of a pay equity assessment
- identifying appropriate comparators
These powers support an effective and efficient pay equity regime, said the minister. If ratified, it will amend the Employment Relations Act 2000
and repeal and replace the Equal Pay Act 1972
and the Government Service Equal Pay Act 1960
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