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Women working for free today counting down to a better equal pay law

The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) says ‘working for free day’ today is no cause for celebration, but politicians have the power to make the 14th of November 2018 a happier date for New Zealand women. Because of the gender pay imbalance, the 14th of November is the day that on average, New Zealand women start effectively working for free for the rest of the year. CTU Vice President Rachel Mackintosh said that on the 14th of November next year, she’s planning to celebrate having better equal pay law that makes sure women are fully paid for every day they work.

“If you’re staring out your workplace window today and feeling like you should be on summer holiday already, you might be right” said Ms Mackintosh. “The 13% gender pay imbalance means the boss is in essence getting free labour out of women in paid work from today until the 1st of January 2018. Māori women collectively started working for free on the 8th of October. Pasifika women are effectively unpaid for over a quarter of the year- their employers started taking free labour, on average, from the 21st of September.”

“Our law already says that taking this unpaid labour from women is illegal, and the free ride is about to end. We have three parties in Government now who have committed to putting the agreed equal pay principles into the current law and not creating additional hurdles for women. This will create a swift and clear legal pathway for women to claim the pay that’s rightfully theirs.”

“Most people in 2017 would agree that paying women fairly for the work they do is overdue. That’s why we’ve launched a countdown clock for the 14th of November 2018 – so we can look back together in a year’s time and celebrate having fair equal pay law that’s working well for all women.”