Major step forward on pay equity

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24 Nov 2016

Major step forward on pay equity: BusinessNZ

BusinessNZ says the Government's agreement to the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles is a major step forward for dealing with any cases of undervaluing women's work.

BusinessNZ and EMA with NZCTU and government representatives formed the working group to provide agreed principles for resolving pay equity claims.

The principles, covering how workers can make a claim and in what circumstances, have now been agreed to by the Government.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope said it was major breakthrough.

"We now have a way forward on a complex issue, opening the way to deal with matters such as payment for aged care workers.

"The principles require the reasons for any undervaluation of work to be taken into account, and require comparisons between industries or groups to be made based on the skills, responsibilities, conditions and effort involved, with the sensible provision that comparisons should be made within similar businesses or industries in the first instance.

"Pay equity claims will be able to be supported by dispute resolution processes including mediation, facilitation and rulings from the Employment Relations Authority, under the Employment Relations Act.

"This approach means the parties involved can resolve a pay equity claim directly through good faith bargaining rather than litigating through courts.

"This is a significant advance that has come about through work by government, business and labour representatives, and is a testimony to the tripartite