The Women’s Studies Association (NZ)/Pae Akoranga Wāhine calls for the draft Employment (Pay Equity & Equal Pay) Bill to be withdrawn.
In this move, we join other knowledgeable and concerned organisations and individuals in identifying the Bill as containing completely unnecessary and seriously convoluted processes. It would make efforts to rectify unequal and inequitable pay much more difficult.
The current Act allows for comparisons to be made between female and male dominated work on the skills, effort, responsibilities, service, and working conditions involved – this is the basis of establishing pay equity. The Bill requires comparisons to be made within the same workforce and sector first, providing for multiple delays, and obvious significant increases in cost.
The Bill also largely rules out any provision for backpay, would transition current claims to the new processes, and provides very low penalties for employers who do not engage. All of these factors create additional barriers to those people working in the lowest paid areas of our community.
WSA (NZ)/PAW is a long-established feminist organisation formed to promote radical social change through the medium of women’s studies. It is a small, voluntary, non-profit organisation, independent of any institution. Feminist scholarship on equal pay and pay equity has a long history with members of the association.