24 Nov 2016

Law makes it easier for women to bargain over pay equity

1:08 pm on 24 November 2016

The government is to change the law to make it easier for women to file pay equity claims with their employers, rather than having to go through the courts.

It has accepted the recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity that set out principles for raising and resolving pay equity claims through bargaining.

Money in pocket

Money in pocket Photo: 123RF

The Joint Working Group reported back earlier this year with a number of recommendations, including a process for employers and employees to follow to address pay equity, with a bargaining process based on the Employment Relations Act framework.

The Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse said the government had also decided to clarify how to choose an appropriate job for comparison when making a pay equity claim.

"This was an area the Joint Working Group was not able to agree on.

"However, the government believes this needs to be addressed to ensure the process is clear and effectively addresses pay equity claims for all parties."

The law changes would make it easier for women to file pay equity claims with their employers, rather than having to go through the courts and would also assist employers in addressing those claims.

Changes to the Equal Pay Act 1972 and the Employment Relations Act 2000 were needed to implement the changes.

The government expected to introduce a bill next year.

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