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Serious concerns with Nationals proposed new equal pay law

The Government has today tabled the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill with the first reading expected next week.

CTU Vice President Rachel Mackintosh has serious concerns about the content and direction of this Bill, “we are carefully examining the detail of this proposed law but it does look as though it will be much more difficult for working women to achieve equal pay.”

“It seems that, at the very least, it would have been much more difficult for Kristine Bartlett and the 55,000 other care workers to have achieved their recently won equal pay settlement had this Bill been the law.”

“A key problem is that the Bill adds additional barriers for women taking pay equity claims by putting significant restrictions on the male dominated jobs which can be used as a comparator to help determine whether a job has been undervalued because it is female dominated.

“Sometimes these comparators might be from the same industry, but sometimes they will need to be from a different industry – particularly when a whole industry of work has been undervalued and affected by gender discrimination because it’s been work performed largely by women.”

“Women need to be able to select the most appropriate comparator for their particular role, regardless of who their employer happens to be.”

“This Bill does not achieve what the Equal Pay Principles were designed to achieve; enable a better process and pathway to equal pay.”

“We are so disappointed that the National Government does not want to address the gender pay imbalance in New Zealand – changing the law was an opportunity to make our country a fairer place. Instead this Government is choosing to pull the ladder up on equal pay,” Mackintosh said.