A union says the new Pay Equity Bill will make it harder for women to gain fair pay, and is calling on Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett to make changes as Minister for Women.
NZEI Te Riu Roa said the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill introduced new stumbling blocks, which would severely limit workers’ ability to reduce the gender pay gap.
The bill was released for consultation last week, with submissions closing 11 May.
NZEI national secretary Paul Goulter said, at the moment, women who worked in a female-dominated occupation could measure their pay against any perceivably male-dominated occupation, with a job evaluation ensuring the two jobs measure up in terms of skills, knowledge, experience and responsibilities.
This is what happened when Lower Hutt aged-care worker Kristine Bartlett won a landmark pay increase for the female-dominated industry earlier this month.
But the new bill said comparisons must be from within the business, similar businesses or the same industry first, if available and appropriate.
This seems entirely sensible and logical. Comparing two totally different industries should be the last resort, not the first.