On the 49th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act (EPA), MindTheGap NZ has announced a Public Pay Gap Registry at mindthegap.nz to highlight the need for fairer pay for Māori, for Pacific peoples, for gender, disability communities and other ethnicities in Aotearoa. The registry aims to encourage all organisations to do the right thing by signing on and committing to pay gap reporting.
The alliance-backed campaign will continue in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of the EPA and will see the registry go live on March 8, 2022 – International Women’s Day. From now, organisations with more than fifty employees can sign up and indicate whether they are currently reporting on internal pay gaps. Whether they sign on or not, from March 8th next year, the registry will begin to show which of our larger employers are reporting.
MindTheGap spokesperson Dellwyn Stuart says that 49 years on, the Equal Pay Act has not closed our pay gaps and COVID-19 has only made the need for change more urgent.
“Given overseas experience has shown the impacts of COVID on the gender pay gap and the current boom in construction is likely to see male wages increase while women’s stall, it is time to ensure pay gaps across all groups are closed as much as possible.
“Pay gaps and pay discrimination persist in Aotearoa and it is time to address them. The EPA alone has not and will not be effective in addressing this – we need a new piece of legislation.
“Mandating Pay Gap Reporting is a simple way to make impactful change happen.”
New Legislation Required
As well as working alongside the business community to begin voluntary reporting, MindTheGap NZ has worked with a legal team to draft policy advice that will be presented to the Government.
The policy advice follows international evidence that pay gap reporting works and wide consultation in NZ on what is needed. It considers requiring businesses to report pay gaps for gender, Māori, Pacific, other ethnicities, the disability community and other groups
“The message we have heard through research and consultation is that you first need to know your pay gaps and then get to work on them.”
“Companies who are reporting pay gaps are more likely to be closing them.”
StatsNZ reports the average gender pay gap in New Zealand is 9.1%, with evidence from Strategic Pay suggesting the gap could in fact be as large as 18.5% for employees and 32% for CEs.
The pay gap between Pākehā men and Māori, Pasifika, and Asian workers sits at 9.3%, 19.5% and 12.8%, respectively.
International evidence shows that reporting works to reduce pay gaps and MindTheGap is advocating for Pay Gap Reporting due to its success in other OECD countries.
Pay Gap Reporting in the United Kingdom reduced the gender pay gap by 19 percent. In Finland, 56% of companies found pay issues they hadn’t identified after they were required to report. In Denmark, it increased the number of women being promoted.
Good for Business, Good for the Economy
Ms Stuart says the Public Pay Gap Registry is an opportunity for businesses to easily get ahead of likely Government oversight and show they value their employees.
“Pay Gap Reporting is a mark of diversity, fairness, and trust. The Public Pay Gap Registry is an equality index to measure our fairness as a nation.
“Both New Zealand’s consumers and talent pool are more discerning than ever, and will be looking towards the Registry to recognise which businesses to work with and spend their money in.”
Growing income inequality from 1985 to 2005 is calculated to have cost New Zealand 13 percent of economic growth by 2010.
“Pay discrimination impacts on the nation’s well-being: the aspirations of Māori, of Pasifika; marginalisation of other ethnic groups and child poverty. “
Adele Cubitt Cohen, Manager and Change Strategist at the Clare Foundation, said the opportunity to partner with MindTheGap, both from funding and strategic perspectives, was a natural fit with Clare’s vision to ignite extraordinary change.
“As a tool to turbo-charge the journey towards closing the pay gap, especially in the gender space, the MindTheGap registry offers the accountability and transparency that people in Aotearoa deserve,” said Ms Cubitt Cohen. “The knock-on effect of this initiative will have enormous long-term impact and meaning for generations to come.”
Ms Stuart says the Public Pay Gap Registry is designed to make Pay Gap Reporting simple for businesses. From now, businesses have five months to prepare for the public reporting, and the option for guidance from remuneration consultants and MindTheGap partner Strategic Pay.
Businesses can join the Public Pay Gap Registry list and the public can show support at mindthegap.nz.