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Closing the gender pay gap in the state sector boosted by new Principles

Ensuring that employment practices are free from gender bias, that pay rates are transparent and that the role of unpaid work is finally recognised, are among new Principles launched today to help workers and employers eliminate the gender pay gap in the state sector.

The Gender Pay Principles were launched at an event at Parliament tonight, after a union-government working group helped designed them in response to a 2015 case by the PSA against the State Services Commissioner.

The Principles cover aspects of the gender pay gap that differ from pay inequity brought on by female dominated work, that were dealt with in a separate set of principles agreed in 2016 and updated this year, following the Kristine Bartlett legal case that led to the pay equity settlement for 55,000 care and support workers.

The Gender Pay Principles apply to work that isn’t exclusively female dominated, and cover things such as eliminating conscious and unconscious gender bias, maintaining transparent employment and pay practices and tackling the disadvantage women face in areas such as pay, progression, security of employment and retirement income brought on by their unpaid work.  They set in place measures to ensure the principles are enduring, and that workers can meaningfully participate in bringing about change.

CTU Vice President Rachel Mackintosh, the lead union representative on the group, said:

“These principles are another step on the journey to full pay and employment equity for women, and unions are proud to have led this work for women in the state sector.”

“Many women take time out of the workforce to do unpaid work. I am thrilled that these principles recognise this – as it is often never properly addressed.  These principles mean that work will be designed to recognise the skills used in unpaid work, and make sure women’s pay and advancement will not stagnate through taking time out of the workforce.

“These principles need to be enduring, and unions look forward to their implementation in coming years.  They are designed for the state sector – but should prompt a discussion about their use across wider employment too.”

The principles are available at: