Pay equity and the gender pay gap is a topical issue at the moment and it is something that can affect us all. NZ’s current pay gap is 9.2% and while this gap has been reducing since 1998 from 16.3%, it has stalled in the last decade.
On Thursday 22 November we held a lunch event and invited Cathy Hendry from Strategic Pay to talk about this issue.
Cathy made us aware that currently the Equal Pay Amendment Bill was being progressed through Parliament. This Bill distinguishes between equal pay and pay equity claims. Pay equity means the same pay for different work of equal value as opposed to equal pay which is the same pay for the same job. This Bill will be significant, in that to have “merit” a pay equity claim must relate to work predominantly performed by women which has been historically undervalued
Cathy then shared the diversity differences in pay gap and how it was most significant in general staff levels and between the ages of 40 – 60 years. The public sector is addressing this issue with an action plan in place to address; equal pay, flexible work. bias free remuneration system and HR practices and gender balanced leadership. In the private sector, there is nothing formal in place however, companies are being encouraged to provide reporting on pay equity and some companies are requesting internal reports/audits on pay equity by third parties.
In terms of what we could do to help address the situation, Cathy recommended we