Paying below living wage 'just exploiting people' - union

A new collective agreement is being hailed be the answer to solving pay equity in the workplace.

Toll Logistics has signed a deal which allows all members to be paid equally and above the living wage.

Jared Abbott from FIRST Union says it is a major achievement.

"One of the sites was majority women and paid about $3 an hour less than a site that was male-dominated. This agreement essentially brings all the workers up to the top rate."

Mr  Abbott says other companies could adopt a similar agreement.

"It is a positive step for international companies to take strong leadership at the top level."

Acording to the Living Wage campaign, Kiwis need $20.55 an hour minimum to afford the necessities to "live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society".

If firms can't afford to pay it, Mr Abbott says they need to question whether they should be in business at all.

"If they can't make profit doing that, they really have to question if their business is providing a service or if it's actually just exploiting people."

The gender pay gap in New Zealand is about 16c in the dollar, according to research.

Newshub.