The news that recommendations to simplify the pay equity claim process will shortly go before Cabinet has been welcomed by the New Zealand Nurses Organisation.
The reconvened Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles has now reported back to the Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Women, Julie Anne Genter. The group is recommending clarifying and simplifying the process for initiating a pay equity claim, making no changes to the principles on comparators, and amending the Equal Pay Act 1972 to implement the principles.
The reconvening of the group followed the new Government scrapping the former National government’s pay equity legislation, saying it made it harder for people to make a claim for wages. The group’s recommendations are to be considered soon by cabinet, said Lees-Galloway.
Cee Payne, NZNO Industrial Services Manager and a member of the joint working group, said the pay equity comparator issue needed urgent attention.
“It was necessary for progress on pay equity that the government develop legislation that enables women to choose the best male occupations to compare their skills with,” she said.
“The previous government’s pay equity legislation was convoluted and unfairly required women to go through several unfair barriers before being allowed to select the right male occupation.
“Having a more straightforward and simple process to determine if women can proceed with a pay equity case was also a significant improvement in the revised pay equity principles, and is welcomed,” she said.