Govt to consider making pay equity claims easier to lodge

The Government is considering making it easier to lodge pay equity claims. 

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter have announced that a working group's recommendations will soon be considered at Cabinet. 

Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles has recommended that the Government clarify and simplify the process for initiating a pay equity claim, and amend the Equal Pay Act 1972 to implement these principles. 

The group says no changes to the principles on comparators are necessary. 

Mr Lees-Galloway says their intention is to redress an unfair system put into place by the National Government. 

"The previous government introduced legislation that set unnecessary hurdles for women to make a pay equity claim, so we reconvened the working group to investigate how we can provide a fairer deal to women," he explained.

He says working with the group, which includes employer, union and government representatives, is the best way to improve fairness in the workplace.

"This Government believes that a collaborative approach trumps the combative approach of the previous government."

Ms Genter says the current Government is "committed to a better deal for women". 

"These recommendations form the strong foundation needed for improving fairness in the workplace for women."

The working group was reconvened in February to develop recommendations to add to an existing set of principles that were developed by the original group in 2016. 

"People on the working group are on the front lines of negotiating pay equity claims, and their agreement on these important issues means a lot," says Ms Genter.

The Government recently agreed to negotiate an agreement to extend the Care and Support Pay Equity Settlement to New Zealand's mental health and addiction support workers, believed to be 3800 people.