Equal Pay Day in New Zealand
Gender Pay Gap in New Zealand
The gender pay gap in New Zealand reached 13 per cent in 2016. The gender pay gap is continuously decreasing, as 1998, a number of 16 per cent was still in place. With its current heighth, the gender pay gap lies below most numbers in European countries.
Still, it has to be noted that the pay gap is often larger for Māori, Pasifika and Asian women.
Equal Pay Day in New Zealand
The Equal Pay Day is celebrated by a variety of institutions:
- BPW New Zealand organises the yearly campaign around the Equal Pay. In 2017, the Equal Pay Day has been held at February 17. For the campaign, New Zealand Dollar notes have been cut out by 12 per cent and have been marked with 8.80$ instead of 10$.
- The PSA (Public Service Association), the largest trade union in New Zealand with approx. 62,000 members, also fights for equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. With their campaign, the PSA demands transparency in wage setting and job classifications and effective monitoring and compensation systems in cases of unequal pay.
- The YWCA yearly awards companies that practice equal pay. With these awards, the YWCA displays best practice cases within the economy and motivates other companies to enforce equal pay.
Equal Pay Legislation
There are currently debates on introducing specific legislation on equal pay requiring pay transparency. Employers are already obliged to collect certain data. The new law would require that employers to analyse these data along gender lines to show the gender pay gap.
"In 2012, Kristine Bartlett, care worker, brought up a case against her employer, Terranova Homes. She argued she had spent 20 years on very low pay because aged care is largely performed by women. The case went up to the Supreme Court and where she won. As a result, the government now has to negotiate pay hikes for about 50,000 care and support workers.
Furthermore, the decision opened the way for so-called “women’s work” to make a claim under the Equal Pay Act.
Employers, unions and the government have set up a Joint Working Group to agree a set of principles on pay equity to help workers and employers negotiate over equal pay."
On April 18, 2017, a decision could have been reached. The cabinet has settled the dispute and reached an agreement worth $2 billion over the next five years. "From 1 July, 2017, the predominantly female workforce would receive a pay rise of about 15 to 49 percent, depending on qualifications and experience." The deal affects approx. 55,000 workers in three government-funded service sectors: aged residential care, home support and disability services.
Presentation on Equal Pay in New Zealand during CSW61 by Helen Swales, President BPW New Zealand Download PDF
- What's the deal with equal pay? - The Bartlett Case
- Radio New Zealand: Govt settles historic pay equity case