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Select Committee reports back on pay equity bill

The Select Committee has issued its report on the Equal Pay Amendment Bill, detailing changes to ensure the pay equity framework in the Bill is workable for all parties.

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill makes it easier for workers to raise a pay equity claim, by replacing the court-based approach with an accessible process that uses New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. Pay equity means women and men who perform work of the same value should be paid the same, even though their jobs may be different.

The Committee has made technical but important changes to improve the workability of the system for all parties. These include:

  • Providing clarity on the threshold for making an arguable claim, by clarifying ‘predominantly female’ as a workforce that is, or historically was, approximately 60 per cent or more female.
  • Removing the requirement to undergo facilitation before seeking a determination in disputes, to maintain a low threshold to commence bargaining and provide the Courts with greater discretion

The Government also announced a $1 million Budget 2019 investment in pay equity guidance, tools and data. These resources will improve the understanding of the pay equity regime, and people’s ability to make and consider claims. They’ll help reduce disputes, improve the bargaining process and lead to enduring pay equity settlements.

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill is expected to pass into law in the coming months. The pay equity guidance, tools and data will be delivered by Employment New Zealand(external link).

 

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