New Zealand women are working free for the rest of the year

Women are effectively working for free for the rest of the year because of the gender pay gap, the CTU says.
Women are effectively working for free for the rest of the year because of the gender pay gap, the CTU says. Photo credit: Getty

Women in New Zealand are effectively working free for the rest of the year due to the gender pay gap, a union says.

The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) says because women are paid on average 13 percent less than their male counterparts, their bosses are essentially getting free labour from them from November 14 through to January 1st.

CTU Vice President Rachel Mackintosh said "If you're staring out your workplace window today and feeling like you should be on summer holiday already, you might be right."

Ms Mackintosh says Māori women have been working for free since October 8th, while Pasifika women "are effectively unpaid for over a quarter of the year" and have worked for free from about the 21st of September.

The gender pay gap is 23 percent for Māori women and all men, while for Pasifika women it is 27.9 percent according to Statistics NZ data.  

Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter said "Women are working for free from today till the end of the year because of the gender pay gap and this needs to change."

Ms Genter said there's no excuse for a woman to be paid less just because she's a woman or works in a female-dominated industry.

"Even after adjusting for age, education, experience and other variables there's still an unexplained gap. I encourage all New Zealand employers to look at what they can do to understand and close their gender pay gaps."

Newshub.