CONVENTION 100 NEW ZEALAND
Article 22 of the Constitution of the ILO
Report for the period 1 July 2006 to 31 May 2008
made by the Government of New Zealand on the
EQUAL REMUNERATION CONVENTION, 1951 (No. 100)
- Please give a list of the legislation and administrative regulations, the decisions of legally established or recognised bodies or, if the principle of the Convention is applied according to paragraph 2(c) of Article 2, the collective agreements which apply the provisions of the Convention. Where this has not already been done, please forward copies of the said legislation and regulations to the International Labour Office with this report, together with any available copies of the decisions of legally established or recognised bodies and of existing collective agreements.
Please give any available information concerning the extent to which these laws and regulations have been enacted or modified to permit of, or as a result of, ratification.
The following new Acts and Orders came into effect or were passed during the reporting period:
- Employment Relations Amendment Act 2006
- Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007
- Minimum Wage (New Entrants) Amendment Act 2007
- Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Repeal Act 2007
Online versions of this legislation are available at http://www.legislation.govt.nz.
- Please indicate in detail for each of the following Articles of the Convention the provisions of the legislation and administrative regulations or any other measures, in particular the decisions of legally established or recognised bodies and the provisions of collective agreements relating to the application of each of these Articles. In addition, please provide any indication specifically requested below under individual Articles.
If in your country the ratification of the Convention gives the force of national law to its provisions please indicate the constitutional texts from which this effect is derived. Please specify also any measures which have been taken to give effect to those provisions of the Convention which require the intervention of the national authorities, such as measures designed to promote or to ensure the application of the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value, and measures designed to promote the objective appraisal of jobs on he basis of the work to be performed and the co-operation of the employers' and workers' organisations concerned.
If the Committee of Experts or the Conference Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations has requested additional information or has made an observation on the measures adopted to apply the Convention, please supply the information asked for or indicate the action taken by your Government to settle the points in question.
For the purpose of this Convention-
- the term" remuneration" includes the ordinary, basic or minimum wage or salary and any additional emoluments whatsoever payable directly or indirectly, whether in cash or in kind, by the employer to the worker and arising out of the worker's employment;
- the term "equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value" refers to rates of remuneration established without discrimination based on sex.
- Each Member shall, by means appropriate to the methods in operation for determining rates of remuneration, promote and, in so far as is consistent with such methods, ensure the application to all workers of the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value.
- This principle may be applied by means of-
- national laws or regulations;
- legally established or recognised machinery for wage determination;
- collective agreements between employers and workers; or
- a combination of these various means.
Please supply general information on the methods in operation for determining rates of remuneration and the manner in which the application of the principles of equal remuneration is promoted and ensured and, in the latter case, indicate whether the principle is applied to all workers.
Please give a brief account of the progress made in the application of the principle.
The New Zealand Government continues to be fully committed to the principle of equal remuneration for men and women. Since the last report, significant progress has been made in working towards the Government’s goal of pay and employment equity.
The Five Year Plan of Action on Pay and Employment Equity in the public service and the public health and public education sectors
Following the Report of the Taskforce on Pay and Employment Equity in the Public Service and the Public Health and Public Education Sectors, 1 March 2004, the Government embarked on a five-year Pay and Employment Equity Plan of Action to ensure that remuneration is free of gender bias and that barriers to employment equity for women are removed in these sectors. The Plan is based on existing legislation.
Chief executives of the organisations included in the Pay and Employment Equity Plan of Action and sector leaders (the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and the State Services Commission) are accountable to Government for implementing the Plan. Sector leaders make six-monthly progress reports to their Ministers. The six-monthly reports from sector leaders (State Services Commissioner, Secretary for Education, and the Director-General of Health) to their respective Ministers are not publicly available. The content of those reports, however, generally covers the following:
- an update of progress on pay and employment equity reviews and the implementation of response plans in their sector;
- brief comments on progress in each part of the sector (in the case of the Public Service, in each department);
- an update on identified issues/findings from the reports and response plans under the main equity indicators in the Pay and Employment Equity Plan of Action;
- an update on the work of the Pay and Employment Equity Unit, including the development and use of the pay and employment equity tools (gender inclusive job evaluation standard, equitable job evaluation, and service sector skills identification project);
- the effectiveness of accountability mechanisms;
- progress on pay investigations; and
- charts illustrating progress as appropriate.
Accountabilities are formalised in the accountability documents relevant to each sector. The Pay and Employment Equity Chief Executives’ Committee chaired by the Secretary of Labour, reviews progress and identifies, at a strategic level, any obstacles or action required.
A tripartite Steering Group leads the ongoing development of the Plan of Action and monitors and reports on its implementation. The Steering Group guides the work of the Department of Labour’s Pay and Employment Equity Unit. The Unit was established to implement the Plan and support organisations to conduct pay and employment equity reviews and develop response plans. The Unit provides an annual report to the Government on the effectiveness of the Plan’s accountability mechanisms.
The Unit has developed pay and employment equity tools and guidelines to implement the Plan. These include the Equitable Job Evaluation tool, Gender-inclusive Job Evaluation Standard, Guide to Pay Investigations and Pay and Employment Equity Analysis Tool. A Service Sector Skills Identification Project is developing better methods for identifying skills in service sector work and this too will be completed by May 2008. The Unit provides training on the tools and processes for pay and employment equity review committees and project managers.
The Unit’s pay and employment equity tools can be found at:
A workbook assists review committees to gather evidence on the impact and results of organisational policies and practices and to consider whether any differences between men and women’s experiences are explainable and justifiable. While the focus of the pay and employment equity review is on gender, the process can also be used to consider other characteristics, such as ethnicity, age or disability. Review committees then develop a response plan to address the employment and pay equity issues identified as priorities.
A six-step pay and employment equity review process has been developed by the Pay and Employment Equity Unit. The review is a partnership process involving employees through the appropriate union(s). It assists organisations to investigate whether:
- women and men have an equitable share of rewards;
- women and men participate equitably in all areas of the organisation; and
- women and men are treated with respect and fairness.
A pay investigation may be recommended in a review response plan or initiated by employers or through bargaining. The pay investigation is a review of the value of the work and of the factors and processes affecting remuneration of the occupation. The Government has agreed that the target group for pay investigations are occupations that are at least 70% female or were at least 70% female when equal pay was introduced in New Zealand.
The Government has decided that claims for additional funding for remedial pay settlements arising from pay and employment equity reviews will be considered within existing Budget processes, advised by a tripartite process. Claims need to be supported by a business case establishing clear evidence that there is pay inequity (preferably based on a rigorous pay investigation), whether organisations can fund the claim through re-prioritisation and how relativities based claims will be managed.
The Government has established an annual fund of NZ$1 million to assist employers and unions to participate in the Plan of Action. The Pay and Employment Equity Unit manages the Pay and Employment Equity Contestable Fund and recommendations for funding are made to the Minister of Labour by the Steering Group.
Phase one of the Plan of Action involves the Public Service, public health and public education sections. Pay and employment equity reviews and response plans will be completed in all Public Service departments, the public health sector and in public schools by the end of 2008. Tertiary education institutions and kindergartens are to commence reviews this year. Following pay and employment equity reviews, a number of pay investigations are proceeding.
Public Service – the review process is co-ordinated by the State Services Commissioner as sector leader. Twenty Public Service departments have completed their reviews and the remainder will complete their pay and employment equity reviews by the end of 2008.
Public health sector – the Ministry of Health is responsible for sector leadership. Reviews were undertaken in five district health boards in the 2006/2007 year followed by a validation process across the rest of the sector. All 21 district health boards will have completed their pay and employment equity reviews by mid 2008.
Public education sector – the Ministry of Education is responsible for sector leadership and is convening tripartite groups comprising employers, government and unions to develop the review processes for the sector. Reviews will be undertaken in a sample of schools in the compulsory education sector in the 2006/2007 year and reviews will commence in kindergartens in the 2007/2008 year. Tertiary education institutions will undertake their reviews from 2007/2008.
In 2007, the Government extended the Plan to Crown entities and local government authorities. This includes a requirement that the policy also apply to some government-funded outsourced services in the public health sector. Decisions on further extending the Plan to the private sector will be made in 2010.
Further information on the Plan of Action is available from the Pay and Employment Equity Unit’s website.
Employment Relations Act 2000
Please refer to the Government’s previous reports on Convention 111 for an explanation of the provisions of the Employment Relations Act.
Employment Relations Amendment Act 2006
The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2006 came into effect on 13 September 2006. Its purpose was to provide protection for groups of employees deemed ‘vulnerable’ under certain contracting situations. ‘Vulnerable’ employees such as cleaners, are particularly susceptible to, and disadvantaged by having their employment security and terms and conditions undermined through successive changes in contract. The groups of employees specified as ‘vulnerable’ are described in Schedule 1A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (the Act).
This amendment was the result of an Employment Court decision in Gibbs and others v Crest Commercial Cleaning Ltd, which found that the Act did not give ‘vulnerable’ employees the protection the Government intended in subsequent contracting situations. This means that if a business contracted to perform services loses the contract to another service provider, the ‘vulnerable’ employees affected do not have the right to choose to transfer to the new service provider.
The amended Act responds to the issues identified in the Gibbs decision and implements the Government policy that was determined in 2004, in the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2004. It ensures that specified groups of ‘vulnerable’ employees are assured of the right to elect to transfer to a new employer on their existing terms and conditions of employment when they are affected by a subsequent contracting situation.
Clarity is provided by defining subsequent contracting and the other types of restructuring the protection applies to. The amended Act also specifically states that the restructuring situations defined are included within the protection provided under the Employment Relations Act 2000.
The amended Act closes additional loopholes by clarifying other areas where it is not currently clear how the Act applies to specified groups of ‘vulnerable’ employees. The purpose of this clarification is to ensure that the Government’s original policy intent of protecting the employment conditions of specified employees is met.
Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007
The Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007 was passed in Parliament in November 2007 and will come into force on 1 July 2008.
The Act provides certain employees with the right to request a variation to their hours of work, days of work, or place of work. To be eligible for the “right to request” an employee must have the care of any person and have been employed by their employer for six months prior to making the request. When making the request, the employee must explain how the variation will help the employee provide better care for the person concerned.
The Act requires employers to consider the request for flexible working arrangements and provides the only grounds upon which they can refuse a request. The Act also provides a process for how requests are to be made and responded to. Employers and employees may seek assistance from the Department of Labour about requests for flexible working arrangements under the Act. A formal resolution process is provided should a disagreement arise regarding a request for flexible work.
A review of the operation and effects of the new legislation is required two years after commencement and will include recommendations on whether the provisions should be extended to all employees. The Department of Labour is currently working on guidelines for employees and employers to support the Act. These guidelines will be available at www.dol.govt.nz/worklife.
Minimum Wage (New Entrants) Amendment Act 2007
The only pay rates set by national law are the minimum wage rates for new entrants, adults and trainees, set under the Minimum Wage Act 1983. These wage rates apply equally for men and women. The minimum wage rate applies to employees aged 16 years old and over, except for trainees and new entrants aged 16 or 17. The minimum training rate applies to employees aged 16 years and over, who are required by their employment agreement to undertake certain, registered training programmes.
The Minimum Wage Order 2008 came into force on 1 April 2008. This wage order increased the minimum wage rates for adults and trainees, and the youth minimum wage rate was replaced with a new entrants minimum wage rate.
The minimum wage rate for adults increased from $11.25 an hour to $12.00 an hour, the minimum training wage increased from $9.00 an hour to $9.60 an hour and the youth minimum wage rate was replaced with a new entrants minimum wage rate of $9.60 an hour.
The Minimum Wage (New Entrants) Amendment Act was passed on 5 September 2007 and came into force on 1 April 2008. This Act abolished the previous youth minimum wage rate and established a new entrants wage rate. The new entrants minimum wage applies to workers aged 16 or 17 who have completed 3 months or 200 hours of work while they were aged 16 years or older; or those that have been supervising or training other workers; or they are trainees and therefore subject to the minimum training wage. The New Entrants Amendment Act recognises that often employees who are aged 16 or 17 do the same work as older employees, while also recognising that time is needed for young people new to the workforce to gain the socialisation skills necessary for working. The timeframes that the new entrants rate will apply allows that learning to occur, while respecting the value of the work that young people do.
Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Repeal Act 2007
The Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Act 1960 embodied outdated concepts about the abilities, potential and rights of people with disabilities. It provided blanket exemptions from employment law based on where people work, rather than looking at what work people do or their individual abilities. It also confused employment and other relationships that might exist between the employer and the employee.
The Act was repealed in March 2007 to reflect the Government’s approach to disability issues as set out in the New Zealand Disability Strategy. It also reflects the findings of the 2001 Vocational Services Review outlined in Pathways to Inclusion.
The New Zealand Disability Strategy can be found at:
The Pathways to Inclusion document can be found at:
The New Zealand Disability Strategy sets to achieve a fully inclusive society where people with disabilities have the same opportunities as other New Zealanders. This includes participating in training and employment and to receive fair remuneration for the work that they do.
The repeal of the Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Act was signalled clearly in Government policy in 2001, with a long transition period of nearly six years to allow sheltered workshop employers time to change their business practices. Over the last five years significant reform has occurred in the sector, with many employers making changes to their business practices.
To continue to provide opportunities for people who might otherwise be shut out of employment, Labour Inspectors are still able to issue individual minimum wage exemption permits.
Unlike the blanket exemptions that existed under the Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Act the process of issuing minimum wage exemption permits involves considering the individual contribution of the worker.
Before considering whether a minimum wage exemption permit is appropriate the employer must have made reasonable accommodations to facilitate people carrying out the requirements of their job. Labour Inspectors will only give someone a minimum wage exemption permit if the worker and employer agree that there is a good reason why the worker should be paid below the minimum wage.
Human Rights Act 1993 (the HRA)
The provisions of the HRA have been discussed in the Government’s previous reports on Convention 111.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987
No further amendments to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 were made during the reporting period. To date, over 100,000 parents have taken paid parental leave since it was introduced in 2002. In the 2006/07 year, 27,279 parents took paid parental leave (PPL), and of these, 25,468 were employees and 1,811 were self-employed.
Over 2005 and 2006, the Department of Labour conducted an extensive evaluation of the parental leave scheme. The purpose of the evaluation was to better understand the extent to which the Act is meeting its overall objectives. The evaluation focused on the experiences of three groups: women who have babies or adopt them; fathers or other partners of these women; and employers.
The evaluation found that the parental leave scheme enjoys considerable support from mothers, fathers and employers alike. Key findings include:
- Approximately 80% of working mothers are eligible for PPL (not including self-employed women) and about 80% of these women took PPL. After the inclusion of self-employed parents within the scheme in 2006, it is estimated that approximately 90% of working parents are now eligible for PPL;
- Of the small group of employed women who were ineligible for leave, two-thirds were ineligible due to the length of time they had been employed by the same employer, and one-third did not meet the hours criteria. Casual workers were less likely to be eligible for PPL than permanent workers;
- PPL is typically taken at the end of all other available paid leave, and allows eligible mothers to extend the total amount of leave taken;
- Mothers are not using the full entitlement of leave available. On average, most mothers return to work when their baby is six months old, but would like to return when their baby is 12 months. The biggest barrier to taking the full 12 months of parental leave available is financial pressure, for mothers from all income groups;
- Two-thirds of mothers who took PPL and then returned to work, went back to the same employer;
- Most mothers change their working arrangements when returning from leave, and the most common change is a reduction in the hours of work – two-thirds of mothers worked part-time following the birth of a child compared with one-third before the birth;
- Most fathers take some sort of leave around the birth or adoption of a child. Very few fathers use the unpaid paternity leave and tend to take two weeks of annual leave instead. Their preference would be to take four weeks of paid leave concurrently with the mother;
- Two-thirds of employers agree that PPL allows them to plan and manage workloads with greater confidence;
- Employing someone to cover the position of an employee on parental leave is one of the most difficult aspects for employers to manage; particularly for Small and Medium Enterprises who prefer to re-allocate work across existing staff rather than hire temporary staff; and
- Employers typically accommodate changes in working patterns for mothers on their return to work on an ongoing basis; however, they tend only to be supportive of changes to fathers’ working patterns around the time of the birth or adoption.
In July 2007, the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women advised the Minister of Labour on its view on priority improvements that should be made to the parental leave scheme. In August 2007, the Families Commission released a report on parental leave, It’s About Time: Towards a parental leave policy that gives New Zealand families real choice. Their views focus on the eligibility criteria for PPL, the duration and payment level of PPL, and fathers’ access to paid leave. Recent sex-based discrimination complaints to the Human Rights Commission relate to the eligibility of seasonal workers and the rights of fathers in relation to PPL.
In response to the Families Commission’ report, the Government restated its commitment to the ongoing review and improvement of the parental leave scheme, and outlined the following specific areas of priority for future consideration:
- those women in paid work who remain ineligible for PPL, including seasonal and casual workers;
- the payment level of PPL;
- the duration of PPL; and
- fathers’/partners’ access to PPL.
Holidays Act 2003
As of 1 April 2007, all employees are entitled to at least four weeks paid annual holidays a year. This was an increase from the previous entitlement of three weeks. An individual employee becomes entitled to four weeks paid annual holidays on the anniversary of the date they started their current job. The anniversary date has to fall after 1 April 2007.
For all employees who receive “pay as you go” holiday pay, the payment rose on 1 April 2007 to 8% of their pay, up from 6%1 .
The right to four weeks minimum paid annual holidays applies to all workers, of all ages, in all industries. It is against the law for an employer to give less than the minimum. The change does not mean that employees who already get four or more weeks annual holidays will automatically get extra holidays. Whether an employee is entitled to another week over and above the new minimum requirement will depend on the wording of their employment agreement.
If that agreement says the employee is entitled to a specific number of weeks annual holiday – for example, four weeks – the employee would not be entitled to any additional leave. However, some agreements talk about providing one or more “additional” weeks holiday, over and above the legal requirement.
In order to adjust from the previous entitlement, some adjustments are required: For example, an employee who leaves their job after 1 April 2007, and before their next anniversary date, will be entitled to:
- payment for any remaining annual holidays from previous anniversary dates at the greater of average or ordinary earnings; and
- payment at 8% of gross earnings for the period between their last anniversary date and their termination date.
An employee who leaves their job after 1 April 2007 who has not completed 12 months’ work is entitled to a payment of 8% of their gross earnings since starting work.
Ministry of Women’s Affairs
The Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MWA) is the New Zealand government’s primary provider of gender specific advice. MWA’s work is guided by the Action Plan for New Zealand Women2 (the Action Plan), which was released in 2004 with a five-year timeframe. The Action Plan has three priority areas, which are economic sustainability, work-life balance, and well-being.
The majority of actions in the Action Plan are led by other government agencies, however MWA works closely with these agencies to improve outcomes for women. For example, MWA works closely with the Department of Labour in a range of work areas relating to women and employment, including the Department of Labour’s work on policy responses to improve pay and employment equity for New Zealand women. The Department of Labour’s Decent Work Action Plan is also included as a milestone.
MWA is also leading work on occupational segregation, which is one of the major factors contributing to the gender pay gap. MWA has obtained funding from the annual (Australian) Commonwealth, State, Territories and New Zealand Ministers’ Conference on the Status of Women (MINCO) to undertake some research on the potential economic impacts of occupational segregation. MWA has also commissioned research on young people’s decision-making about careers in gender‑segregated occupations. The purpose of the research is to identify critical factors that lead people to choose occupations that are traditionally dominated by one gender, and to identify factors that could influence gendered perceptions of occupations. This will inform further policy work on occupational segregation.
The National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women
The National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) is an independent ministerial advisory body on matters relating to women and paid work. It comprises members appointed by the Minister of Labour, representatives of relevant government departments and the government’s tripartite partners Business New Zealand and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU). The Council reports to the Minister of Labour. The Council has three priority work areas which include Quality of Work (pay and employment equity, and precarious work), Work and Care, and Māori and Pacific Women’s Employment/Transitions through Life.
Last year, the Work and Care subgroup made recommendations to the Minister on priority improvements to parental leave which included widening the eligibility criteria, increasing the duration of leave, and the provisions of paid leave specifically for fathers.
The Māori and Pacific Women’s Employment/Transitions through Life subgroup will be carrying out a stocktake on young Māori and Pacific women’s transition from secondary education to tertiary education or employment to assist their economic sustainability and improve their participation in employment and earnings.
In 2006 NACEW published a report on the Economic Rationales for Narrowing the Gender Pay Gap. One of the outcomes of the report was the development of online tools by the Quality of Work subgroup in collaboration with the Human Resource Institute of New Zealand. These tools were made available online in December 2007. These tools provide a practical opportunity for private sector organisations to review their pay and employment equity practices.
The full text of the report can be found at:
Information about the online tools can be found at:
By addressing caring responsibilities and workplace practices and cultures as barriers to work-life balance, this work supports gender equity in the labour market by recognising the specific circumstances affecting women’s ability to balance work and caring responsibilities. It may also improve the labour force participation for women and other groups not currently in paid work. The Government recognises that improved work-life balance contributes to increased workplace productivity, improved well-being and quality of life, and addressing the labour market issues and skill shortages.
In November 2004 the Government agreed to a three-year work programme to promote a better balance between paid work and life outside of work. The focus of the work programme has been on workplace cultures and practices, recognising that workplace initiatives on work-life balance must be underpinned by supporting cultures and attitudes, if the initiatives are to be effective.
Progress on the work programme includes:
Policy work - covering the right to request flexible work arrangements, parental leave, carer’s leave, work-life balance solutions for people with multiple care responsibilities, breaks and infant feeding provisions. This work is underway in all areas. The right to request flexible work arrangements has been legislated and covers employees with caring responsibilities. The Government is also developing a Carers Strategy that aims to give carers choices and opportunities to enter, progress or stay in education or employment.
Influencing change in workplaces - The Government has produced a number of resources for employers to help them to develop and implement work-life balance initiatives in their organisations. The resources have been developed from demonstration projects where the Government worked in partnership with a group of workplaces to develop and trial practical customised work-life balance tools designed to meet the business needs of employers while meeting the work-life balance needs of their employees.
Research - The Government also completed a national baseline survey of employers and employees in 2005 to provide for the first time, comprehensive information on the level of awareness, provision and uptake of work-life balance practices in New Zealand workplaces. The survey results were released in mid-2006 and provides benchmark data against which to assess improvements to the work-life balance of New Zealanders. The survey is being repeated in 2008.
Human Rights Commission
The functions of the Human Rights Commission are set out in the Government’s previous reports Convention 100.
The Human Rights Amendment Act 2001 established the role of Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Commissioner.
The functions of the EEO Commissioner as set out in the Human Rights Amendment Act 2007 are:
- to lead discussions about and provide leadership on EEO including pay equity;
- to evaluate the role that legislation, guidelines, and voluntary codes of practice play in facilitating and promoting best practice;
- to lead the development of guidelines and voluntary codes of practice; and
- to monitor and analyse progress in improving EEO.
The extension of paid parental leave (PPL) to self-employed women is welcome. Recent sex discriminations complaints to the Human Rights Commission relate to the eligibility of seasonal workers and the rights of fathers/partners as primary entitlement holders.The Human Rights Commission, NACEW (National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women) and the Families Commission have advocated an extension to PPL entitlement to include those workers who have more than one employer, such as seasonal workers, even though their workforce (as opposed to workplace) attachment is continuous.
The Commission remains concerned that many women do not become eligible for paid parental leave unless they have worked an average of 10 hours a week for over 6 months prior to their expected delivery date and those who have worked for more than one employer, such as seasonal workers. The Parental Leave Evaluation (2005/06) found that casual workers in particular, were less likely than permanent workers to have working patterns enabling them to qualify for PPL. Self-employed women working fewer than 10 hours a week over the 6 months prior to their expected delivery date are also excluded.
The Commission also supports any measures required to encourage and enable men to take paid parental leave as a primary entitlement.
In relation to equal pay the Office of Human Rights Proceedings took a case of sex discrimination in employment to the Human Rights Review Tribunal. The Government’s previous report on Convention 100 discussed the outcome of this case and noted that the appeal was waiting for a hearing date in the High Court. The case has since been concluded with a High Court decision in June 2007.
The High Court decision in Talleys Fisheries Limited v Lewis & Edwardsestablished that employers should not be segregating women into work that is substantially similar to work undertaken by men but with less money. The court said what is “substantially similar” needs to be assessed by looking at the core aspect of jobs rather than “difference in detail” The judgement said “the reason she (Caitlin Lewis) received less money was because she was made a trimmer and the reason she was made a trimmer was because she was a woman”. Talleys (the employer) agreed to implement an EEO programme, to train managers about the Human Rights Act and to pay compensation to Caitlin Lewis.
Good employer guidance
The EEO Commissioner is mandated via a cabinet minute to provide guidance to Crown Entities on being a good employer, including EEO programmes, in conjunction with the State Services Commission.
This guidance is provided through on-line tools and resources published on the National Equal Opportunities Network (NEON) website and through workshops and seminars. The Commissioner has also published two benchmark reports on reference to good employer and EEO policies and practice in Crown Entities key strategic documents.
Women in Leadership
The EEO Commissioner has undertaken workshops promoting women in leadership in the local government and tertiary sector.
In March 2008, the third biennial census of women’s participation was published. The 2008 census continues to report on the gender composition of the boards of private companies, of statutory bodies including Crown companies and other Crown entities. Women’s representation and status in politics, the judiciary and law, universities, media and public relations, and the trade union movement are also reported on. In this census, coverage of women in public and professional life was expanded to include data on the status of Māori women. Analysis of women’s participation in sport and local government was also included as well as a report on women’s representation and status in the New Zealand Police.
The full text of the census report can be found at:
The data published in the census report shows that gender equality is still far from being realised. Some areas of the public sector which have traditionally made positive incremental progress in the past have now slowed or stalled. The corporate sector’s performance in the appointment of women to the boardrooms of major listed companies remains dismal and further work needs to be done to improve this performance.
National Equal Opportunities Network (NEON)
The NEON website, a partnership between the Commission and the EEO Trust, continues to provide a co-ordinated, one-stop shop for topical data and research on equal employment opportunities from New Zealand and overseas. The NEON website also provides on-line tools and resources.
Older Worker Project
Research undertaken for the Human Rights Commission identified discrimination faced by older job seekers. A summit of workplace leaders was facilitated by the Human Rights Commission in partnership with the Retirement Commissioner to identify strategies to improve the participation of those aged 50 plus in the New Zealand labour market. A business pilot project was identified as the most effective way of promoting attitudinal change through best practice and is now underway.
Migrant and Refugee Workers
The continuing barriers to migrant, refugee and ethnic community employment led to a partnership with the Office of Ethnic Affairs to identify proactive strategies for improving labour market participation of skilled migrants. Best practice examples are being collated and will be published.
The Equal Employment Opportunities Trust
The Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Trust continues to support equal employment opportunities. As at 17 March 2008, 413 New Zealand employers belonged to the EEO Trust Employers Group, up from 399 in March 2006.
The Government funds the EEO Trust at $2 for every $1 funded by employers, up to a maximum of $395,000 annually (approximately, plus GST). In addition, the EEO Trust has received (or will receive) an additional $547,000 (approximately, plus GST) per annum for the year ending 30 June 2006 and June 2007.
The EEO Trust continues to focus on projects that highlight the benefits of a diverse workforce, for example:
Diversity and Work-Life Surveys: the EEO Trust conducts a Diversity Survey and a Work-Life Survey in alternate years. Each respondent provides confidential data from their own organisation and, after analysing the data, the EEO Trust provides respondents with a report benchmarking their data against the data provided by other employers.
The final reports are available on the EEO Trust website www.eeotrust.org.nz.
Work-life balance, employee engagement and discretionary effort: in 2007 the EEO Trust conducted a literature review investigating whether supporting work-life balance results in a more engaged workforce which gives greater discretionary effort. The review also explored what impact line mangers, senior managers and colleagues have on whether employees are able to take advantage of work-life initiatives. This was followed by a pilot survey of 880 employees in 15 New Zealand workplaces.
Both the literature review and the survey report are available on the EEO Trust website.
Flexibility in the Workplace DVD: the EEO Trust launched its Diversity in the Workplace DVD at its 2006 Annual General Meeting. This DVD profiles leading employers from across a range of industry sectors and geographical locations sharing how they use EEO best practice to recruit and retain valued staff. Case studies focus on employing older workers, ethnically diverse employees, employees with caring responsibilities, new migrants and disabled people.
Supporting material is available to guide users in facilitating discussions around EEO/diversity issues.
The Diversity Effect: in August 2007 the EEO Trust held a one-day Diversity Effect Symposium in conjunction with its annual EEO Trust Work & Life Awards. International and New Zealand speakers explored the increasingly important business issue of employee diversity. A DVD was produced to capture highlights of the Symposium presentations to stimulate discussion around effectively tapping into the innovative potential of a diverse workforce.
Both DVDs are available as a complimentary resource on request.
Job Share Toolkit: The EEO Trust developed a Job Share toolkit as part of a conference presentation for the education sector. Job sharing is a flexible work option that can help employers to access the talents of a broad range of skilled people. This toolkit contains information on how to implement a job sharing arrangement and includes templates of job sharing documentation from EEO Trust member organisations. It can be downloaded from the EEO Trust website.
Making a difference: Why and how to employ and work effectively with Maori: In 2006 the EEO Trust commissioned experts in the field to rewrite a booklet called Working with Maori. The new booklet is a downloadable resource and is one of the EEO Trust’s most frequently requested publications. Significant numbers of copies have been provided to a range of organisations included the New Zealand Defence Force and the New Zealand Police.
Members have requested that the EEO Trust publish similar books on employing Pacific peoples and working with Asian communities. Discussions with appropriate Government agencies are currently in progress.
Diversity Practitioners’ Groups: The EEO Trust has established Diversity Practitioners’ Groups in three major cities to provide a forum for EEO Employers Group members to explore EEO and diversity issues. The groups are proving popular and will upskill HR practitioners and build their capacity in and commitment to EEO/diversity practices.
EEO Trust Library resources: The EEO Trust has continued to explore ways to make its extensive range of library resources more readily accessible to members. It has developed an online database which anyone can search to identify resources of interest and directly download any electronic resources. EEO Employers Group members can borrow library resources. To assist them with library searches the EEO Trust has developed a series of resource lists by topic and industry sector/profession. Sixteen lists have been developed to date, with a potential 20 to come.
The Ministry of Social Development
Working for Families
The Working for Families (WFF) package announced in 2004 and implemented in stages through to April 2007 is the centre piece of the Government’s programme for reducing poverty in New Zealand. The WFF package aims to make work pay and reduce poverty using an integrated programme of initiatives to lift incomes, strengthen work incentives and to make housing and childcare more affordable. The WFF package complements initiatives in other sectors such as investment in primary health, minimum wage levels and housing.
In addition to the above, during 2007, the Government has progressively introduced a range of measures to increase opportunities for people to participate in the labour market, where work is appropriate for them while continuing to provide social and financial support for people with temporary or long-term barriers to work. Work in paid employment is recognised as offering the best opportunity for people to achieve social and economic well-being.
In the past year initiatives have provided additional assistance to families, primary health costs have been reduced, and 3 and 4 year olds are able to receive up to 20 hours of free early childhood education.
Changes have also been made to make childcare more affordable. In October 2004, the Out of School Care and Recreation Services (OSCAR) subsidy rates were raised to the level of the Childcare Subsidy, and both sets of rates were increased by a further 10%. From October 2005 the rates were raised by a further 10%. The income thresholds used to determine eligibility, which are required to be adjusted whenever the Consumers Price Index (CPI) increases by 5% or more, were also raised making more families eligible for the subsidies - these thresholds were further raised again in April 2007 in addition to a CPI adjustment that came into effect. There have also been a number of service enhancements made to childcare support, including the provision of childcare co-ordinators to promote access to services.
The WFF package is estimated to increase the incomes of around 360,000 low and middle income families at a cost of $1.6 billion per annum.
The steady decline in Domestic Purpose Benefit (DPB) recipients since 2004 is an early indication that the new in-work payment introduced through WFF and other instruments appear to be having an impact in reducing DPB numbers, and encouraging sole parents to enter employment. In the period over which WFF has been implemented, New Zealand has seen the largest fall in numbers receiving the DPB since this benefit was introduced in 1973. Numbers fell from 109,700 at August 2004 (just prior to the introduction of the first WFF changes) to 97,200 at August 2007, a reduction of 12,500 or 11.4%.
It is estimated that from 2004 to 2008 the WFF package will have lifted at least 70,000 children out of income poverty, as measured on the Social Report’s fixed line approach. This means that from 2001 to 2008, an estimated total of 130,000 children are expected to be lifted out of poverty as a result of increasing employment; decreasing unemployment; Working for Families; and other Government policies. This includes 60,000 up to 2004 prior to Working for Families, and an estimated further 70,000 from 2004 to 2008.
Out of school services: Five-Year Action Plan
As part of the Government’s Choices for Living Caring and Working ten-year plan, in June 2007 the Government published a Five-Year Action Plan for Out of School Services (the Action Plan) for consultation. The Action Plan sets out the Government’s vision for Out of School Services (OSS) which is to enable parents of school-age children to access age-appropriate services which are available, affordable, accessible and of good quality.
The Action Plan aims to achieve this vision by bringing together a number of specific initiatives and comprehensive policy reviews to:
- provide support for parents and caregivers to gain and sustain employment; and
- widen the focus of OSS from care and recreation to include the health, education and general wellbeing of children, young people, families and communities.
In the 2007 Budget the Government committed $17.4 million over five years to five initiatives in the Action Plan, including to:
- establish 12 activity-based out of school programmes (Extended Services) between January 2008 and January 2010. These programmes will provide opportunities for children and young people to develop and take part in a range of activities such as homework clubs, sport, music, arts, crafts, volunteering and business enterprise activities;
- increase the pool of funding for approved providers from July 2007. This will raise the average annual grant from $11,000 to $13,500 per programme (up to a maximum of $16,000 per year);
- establish a group of experts to advise Government on the further development of quality standards for the sector;
- improve the current approval process to encourage more providers of OSS to meet existing quality standards; and
- review the administration and funding of OSS to identify the best way to provide affordable, quality services to families.
These initiatives are well underway with providers benefiting from the increased pool of funding from 1 July 2007. The first four Extended Services began operating in February 2008 and the cross-sectoral Advisory Group is meeting monthly to consider its advice on the further development of quality standards for the sector. The Action Plan also contains a number of other initiatives which will be considered in future Budgets.
Office for Disability Issues
In 2006, an estimated 660,300 New Zealanders or 17 percent of the total population (excluding people living in some special types of residential facilities) reported having an impairment that limits their daily activities.
Since the launch of the New Zealand Disability Strategy in April 2001, there has been significant activity in Government to promote the inclusion of disabled people in policy development, in particular with regards to providing employment opportunities and support.
In July 2002, the Office for Disability Issues was established in the Ministry of Social Development. It has three roles, including to:
- lead, monitor and promote the New Zealand Disability Strategy;
- provide policy advice on disability issues, and lead strategic and cross-sectoral disability policy across Government; and
- support the Minister for Disability Issues.
The Office for Disability Issues is responsible for monitoring and reporting on implementation of the New Zealand Disability Strategy. There have been seven reports to date, the most recent published in December 2007, relating to the year 1 July 2006 – 30 June 2007. For the first time, departments combined their report on progress over the 2006/2007 year with plans for their implementation into the following year, with thirty-five government agencies submitting reports and plans.
A copy of the 2006/2007 report can be found electronically at:
The report includes an outline of activity over 2006/2007 of the Government agencies involved in implementing Objective 4 of the New Zealand Disability Strategy: “Provide Opportunities in Employment and Economic Development for Disabled People”. The Government agencies involved are the Department of Labour, the Ministry of Social Development, and the State Services Commission (in relation to the Mainstream Supported Employment Programme).
The report refers to the work of the Ministry of Social Development, with the Department of Labour, on Pathways to Inclusion,which sets out the Government’s policy for the development of vocational services for disabled people and aims to increase participation of disabled people in employment and in their communities. Pathways to Inclusion was launched in September 2001.
A copy of Pathways to Inclusion can be found electronically at:
The Pathways to Inclusion strategy includes seven specific strategies concerned with improving the quality of employment opportunities for disabled people by promoting a shift in emphasis within vocational services from sheltered work and day activities to supporting disabled people to have meaningful participation in their community and real jobs.
Since the Pathways to Inclusion strategy was launched, services funded under this strategy have increased in number, delivered higher quality services and have become more focused on employment outcomes for disabled people. By 2007, this approach had enabled approximately 9,000 disabled people to be placed and supported into employment, compared with a total of 3,000 disabled people at the beginning of the strategy’s implementation. The improvements in community participation services have led to the development of person-centred planning and have overwhelmingly increased the time that disabled people spend in the community, rather than in segregated settings. In addition, the Work and Income service of the Ministry of Social Development has enabled the provision of transition from school services for young people with high and complex needs to be offered to all those young people who have been verified by the Ministry of Education as having Very High Needs under the Ongoing Reviewable Resourcing Scheme.
One of the seven specific strategies of Pathways to Inclusion is to amend legislation to ensure that employers must either pay all people who work the minimum wage or seek individual exemptions through a labour market inspector.The relevant legislation has now been amended, with the repeal of the Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Act 1960, effective from 1 December 2007. The repeal of this legislation removed the blanket exemptions from the Minimum Wage Act that formerly applied to sheltered employment. Workers in sheltered employment now must receive at least the minimum wage - unless they have an individual minimum wage exemption permit - and have access to holiday and sick leave entitlements.
The repeal of the Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Act has been accompanied by a government package to ensure support for sheltered workshops and disabled workers. This includes increased support to help people work in the open labour market, wider access to supported employment services and the further development of transition from school services.
Workplace Group, Department of Labour
Please refer to the Government’s previous reports on Convention 100 for a description of the Workplace Group of the Department of Labour.
The Department of Labour provides free information and guidance to the public on employment relations, health and safety and general workplace issues. The provision of information enables and educates customers to identify and deal with their own workplace challenges and opportunities. For the period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2008 the Department’s Contact Centre responded to 231,967 voice enquiries, 13,140 written enquiries and 3,348 face to face enquiries relating to employment relations, health and safety and general workplace issues.
There has been no change to the Employment Relations Contestable Fund since the Government’s previous report on Convention 100.
The Ministry of Maori Development (Te Puni Kokiri)
Māori Women’s Development Incorporation
The Māori Women’s Development Fund was established in 1986 by the Māori Women’s Welfare League (MWWL) as a means of addressing Māori unemployment through the promotion of self employment, in particular self employment for Māori women. The Fund is now operated by the Māori Women’s Development Incorporation (MWDI) which is independent of the MWWL but has close links. The MWDI and the Fund are also independent of Government, but have been invested in by successive governments.
The MWDI provides loans and business educational assistance to Māori women and their whānau (extended family) to start or expand their businesses. The MWDI also provides business educational assistance to Māori women through conferences, seminars, mentoring and training. A number of recent studies have indicated that Māori women may be under-served by traditional financial institutions and may face particular difficulties in accessing commercial finance. The Government contributes $0.8 million per annum to the Māori Women’s Development Fund for loans to businesses, and also provides $1 million to MWDI for mentoring services and $0.2 million for administration out of Vote Māori Affairs.
Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs
Minimum Wage – Pacific consultation
In the past, Pacific organisations/businesses have been invited to provide a submission as part of the annual review. This proved ineffective, as no responses were received. So in 2006, the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs decided that a Pacific consultation fono3 was to be undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Labour (the Department). In addition to this, the Department agreed that the findings from this fono would be included in the summary of submissions section of the Minimum Wage Review 2006 Cabinet Paper, thus finally providing a Pacific perspective.
The State Services Commission
EEO Assessment Instrument
The State Services Commission’s involvement in the EEO Assessment Instrument is set out in the Government’s previous report on Convention 100.
State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme (SSRSS)
The SSRSS is a voluntary savings scheme specially designed for the State sector. It started in July 2004. It arose out of the Tripartite Forum, which involves the Minister of State Services, the Public Service Association, the State Services Commissioner and Public Service chief executives. Employers will match, dollar for dollar, employees’ regular fortnightly contributions.
As at 30 June 2007, 51% of permanent public servants were members of an employer subsidised superannuation scheme, with 42% belonging to the State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme (SSRSS). Eighty-eight percent of SSRSS members were contributing 3% or more of their gross base salary to the scheme. Employers will match, dollar for dollar, employees’ regular fortnightly contributions to the SSRSS.
On 1 July 2007 the New Zealand government launched its new savings initiative, KiwiSaver, for all New Zealanders under the age of entitlement to New Zealand Superannuation. Subsequent to that launch, the decision has been taken to close the SSRSS to new members, and from 1 April 2008 KiwiSaver will be the core savings vehicle for State sector employees. KiwiSaver members are entitled to a range of Government and compulsory employer subsidies that will more than match the minimum KiwiSaver employee contribution of 4% of gross salary. SSRSS members will be entitled to continue their subsidised savings with SSRSS or to transfer all their savings to a KiwiSaver scheme of their choice.
- Where such action will assist in giving effect to the provisions of this Convention measures shall be taken to promote objective appraisal of jobs on the basis of the work to be performed.
- The methods to be followed in this appraisal may be decided upon by the authorities responsible for the determination of rates of remuneration, or, where such rates are determined by collective agreements, by the parties thereto.
- Differential rates between workers which correspond, without regard to sex, to differences, as determined by such objective appraisal, in the work to be performed shall not be considered as being contrary to the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value.
Please indicate what methods, if any, have been adopted to promote an objective appraisal of jobs on the basis of the work to be performed.
Please refer to the Government’s previous reports on Convention 100 for previously adopted methods that promote an objective appraisal of jobs on the basis of the work to be performed.
Please indicate what progress has been made in reducing the differential between wage rates for men and women workers, in particular in cases where legally established or recognised bodies are responsible for determining wage rates.
Current statistics provided by Statistics New Zealand surveys (the Quarterly Employment Survey and the Household Labour Force Survey Income Supplement) indicate that there has been general reduction in the gender earnings gap over the long term, although this trend has been somewhat inconsistent. In 2006, the gender income gap increased from 13.4 to 14%, after six years of steady decline. However, in 2007 the gap declined again to 13.6%. Annual changes in the estimates of average male or female hourly earnings are not always statistically significant but sampling error problems usually disappear when longer periods of time and larger changes are considered.
|European/ pakeha women||Maori men||Pacific men||European/ pakeha men|
|European/ pakeha women||100%||112.0%||116.0%||81.9%|
Source: Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), Statistics New Zealand
This data suggests it is likely that a further narrowing of the gap will continue to occur gradually. As indicated in New Zealand’s previous report on Convention 100, this will be due to a number of social and economic trends.
Gender pay gaps
The gender pay gap is defined as the difference between the average salary of women and the average salary of men, and is expressed as a percentage of the average salary of men. The gender pay gap for the Public Service was 16% as at 30 June 2007. It was also 16% in 2006. Since 2002 the gender pay gap has been stable between 16 and 17%.
Gender pay gaps within occupation groups are lower than the overall gender pay gap (refer to table 4 below). The grouping of women into lower paid occupations has been identified by the Pay and Employment Equity Taskforce as a significant contribution to the gender pay gap.
|Occupation Group||Number of Females||Number of Males||Pay Gap|
|Technicians and Trades Workers||367||811||9.1%|
|Community and Personal Service Workers||2,549||3,279||13.1%|
|Clerical and Administrative Workers||10,692||4,269||11.2%|
Pay gaps for ethnic groups
Ethnic pay gaps are defined as the difference between the average salary for an ethnic group and the average salary of those not in that ethnic group, and is expressed as a percentage of the average salary of those not in the ethnic group. Table 5 presents ethnic pay gaps in the Public Service and the wider labour force.
|Maori||Pacific Peoples||Asian Peoples|
(PS) = Public Service
(WLF) = Wider Labour Force
Each member shall co-operate as appropriate with the employers’ and workers’ organisations concerned for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this Convention.
Please indicate the methods of co-operation with the employers’ and workers’ organisations concerned.
Please refer to the response provided under Article 4 of the Government’s previous report on Convention 100. There has been no change during the reporting period.
- Declarations communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office in accordance with paragraph 2 of article 35 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation shall indicate-
- the territories in respect of which the Member concerned undertakes that the provisions of the Convention shall be applied without modification;
- the territories in respect of which it undertakes that the provisions of the Convention shall be applied subject to modifications, together with details of the said modifications;
- the territories in respect of which the Convention is inapplicable and in such cases the grounds on which it is inapplicable;
- the territories in respect of which it reserves its decisions pending further consideration of the position.
- The undertakings referred to in subparagraphs (a) and (b) of paragraph I of this Article shall be deemed to be an integral part of the ratification and shall have the force of ratification.
- Any Member may at any time by a subsequent declaration cancel in whole or in part any reservation made in its original declaration in virtue of subparagraph (b), (c), or (d) of paragraph I of this Article.
- Any Member may, at any time at which the Convention is subject to denunciation in accordance with the provisions of Article 9, communicate to the Director-General a declaration modifying in any other respect the terms of any former declaration and stating the present position in respect of such territories as it may specify.
- Declarations communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office in accordance with paragraph 4 or 5 of article 35 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation shall indicate whether the provisions of the Convention will be applied in the territory concerned without modification or subject to modifications; when the declaration indicates that the provisions of the Convention will be applied subject to modifications, it shall give details of the said modifications.
- The Member, Members or international authority concerned may at any time by a subsequent declaration renounce in whole or in part the right to have recourse to any modification indicated in any former declaration.
- The Member, Members or international authority concerned may, at any time at which this Convention is subject to denunciation in accordance with the provisions of Article 9, communicate to the Director-General a declaration modifying in any other respect the terms of any former declaration and stating the present position in respect of the application of the Convention.
This convention is applied in Tokelau, New Zealand’s only metropolitan territory.
- Please state to what authority or authorities the application of the above-mentioned legislation and administrative regulations, etc., is entrusted and by what methods application is supervised and ensured.
Please refer to the responses provided under Part III of the Government’s previous reports on Convention 100.
The methods of application are outlined above in Part II under Article 2 and in Part V below.
- Please state whether courts of law or other tribunals have given decisions involving questions of principle relating to the application of the Convention. If so, please supply the text of these decisions.
No questions of principle relating to the Convention have been considered by the Employment Relations Authority (the Authority) or the Courts.
- Please give a general appreciation of the manner in which the Convention is applied, including, for instance, extracts from official reports, information concerning the number and nature of the contraventions reported and any other bearing on the practical application of the Convention.
Please refer to the response provided under Part V of the Government’s previous report on Convention 100.
As discussed above, the High Court overturned the decision of the Human Rights Review Tribunal in the Talleys case. Please refer to the response on page 12 for the outcome of the appeal.
The Government has not identified any other significant cases that need to be included in this report.
- Please indicate the representative organisations of employers and workers to which copies of this report have been provided.
Business New Zealand and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions.
Response to observations made by the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations in 2008
The Committee urges the Government to consider amending its equal pay legislation at the earliest opportunity, so as to provide not only for equal remuneration for equal, the same or similar work, but also to prohibit pay discrimination that occurs in situations where men and women perform different work that is nevertheless of equal value. The Government is also requested to keep the Committee informed of any jurisprudence indicating that the relevant legislative provisions concerning equal pay are being interpreted by the courts within the broader meaning of Articles 1(b) and 2 of the Convention.
The Government is fully committed to the principles of equal remuneration and the prohibition of pay discrimination on the basis of gender.
The Government’s current view is that the Equal Pay Act provides broad protection which is further strengthened through other legislation (including the Human Rights Act and the Employment Relations Act) and by other policies and initiatives of government agencies and non-governmental organisations as indicated in this report. These include:
- the Pay and Employment Equity Plan of Action;
- various initiatives by the State Services Commission, such as the EEO Assessment Instrument and its recently established Equality and Diversity Policy;
- the work of the Human Rights Commission, including that of its EEO Commissioner; and
- the work of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women and the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust.
While there are no current plans to review the Equal Pay Act 1972, the Government continues to monitor developments in this regard.
There were no decisions by New Zealand Courts and Tribunals on equal pay claims under the Human Rights Act, with the exception of the Talleys case, details of which can be found on page 12 of this report.
The Committee asks the Government to provide information on the results achieved by the pay and employment equity reviews and the pay investigations undertaken in the public sector, as well as any specific follow-up action being given to the outcome of these reviews. The Committee also asks the Government to indicate how it intends to address difficulties encountered by employers in the private health sector in matching remedial pay increases granted to employees in public institutions. Please also keep the Committee informed of any steps that are being taken to extend the Pay and Employment Equity Plan of Action to other employees, including those in the private sector.
All 39 public service departments, the public health sector (21 district health boards) and the public school sector are on schedule for completing their pay and employment equity reviews by June 2008. Planning for reviews in tertiary education institutions is underway and kindergartens are to commence their reviews this year.
Systems for monitoring and analysing information from reviews and response plans have been established. Current findings from Public Service reviews include:
- women earn less than men with gender pay gaps ranging from three to 25 per cent;
- women’s jobs are valued lower;
- men’s starting rates and performance pay is higher;
- women are under-represented in management;
- career advancement is hard for part-timers;
- women are concentrated in administration/clerical work and career paths are limited; and
- workplace cultures limit women’s contributions.
Organisations’ responses to reviews include:
- review job evaluation for gender bias;
- evaluate/re-evaluate some jobs;
- more transparency in starting pay rates;
- ensure performance pay systems are gender neutral and transparent;
- improve information on and access to flexible work options, support managers in managing flexible work; and
- improve professional development and career paths for women-dominated jobs.
Responses also include providing resources/training for managers on gender equity in job descriptions, recruitment and promotion, performance managements and reward, and educating for respect at work.
Action taken on response plans is at an early stage of development. Early action, however, includes: pay increases for re-evaluated jobs; en-gendered HR policies, systems and data; more flexible work arrangements; some permanent employment contracts; and new career paths across job levels. The Department of Labour’s Pay and Employment Equity Unit will be monitoring and analysing action on response plans and will be providing regular reports on progress.
To date, two pay investigations have been agreed in public sector-based women-dominated occupations.
In May 2007, the Government extended the Plan of Action to phase two which includes Crown entities and local government organisations on a government-led, encouragement-based approach. Decisions on extending the Plan of Action to phase three organisations, the private sector and non-governmental organisations, will be made by the Government in 2010 following a report on progress made in phases one and two.
In November 2007, the Government also decided to extend pay and employment equity policy to cover employees whose work is funded by government through outsourced contracts that provide services that district health boards (DHBs) have an operational obligation to ensure are provided. Government decisions in 2005 included that funding for remedial pay settlements not be restricted to situations in which DHBs are the employer, but take into account situations where DHBs contract for services. Government will consider options for extending this ‘responsible contracting’ policy to the public education sector, the Public Service and the rest of the public health sector, following a report to Cabinet in December 2009.
The public health sector national pay and employment equity response plan is currently being finalised and is scheduled to be reported to government by the end of April. If remedial pay settlements in the public sector lead to pay claims in the private sector, they will be addressed through the normal collective bargaining process and under the provisions of the Employment Relations Act 2000.
The Committee asks the Government to provide further details on the use of the gender-neutral job evaluation tools that have been developed and their impact on reducing gender pay differentials in the public as well as in the private sectors.
Please refer to pages 2-5 of this report for details regarding the gender-neutral job evaluation tools developed by the Pay and Employment Equity Unit.
Please refer to page 10 of this report for details regarding the Economic Rationales for narrowing the Gender Pay Gap published by the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women, and the online tools that were developed as a result. Because these tools were only recently made available their impact cannot yet be determined.
The Government will continue to provide statistical data on the gender pay gap in both public and private sectors.
Responses to comments made by the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations in 2008
- Regarding the need to adopt measures to address gender segregation in the occupational and industrial composition of the labour market, the Committee refers to its comments under the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111). The Committee asks the Government continue to provide statistical information on the male–female earnings differentials, particularly those influenced by the male–female gap in accessing high-level posts in the public and private sectors.
Please refer to pages 20-22 of this report for statistical information on male-female earnings differentials in both public in private sectors.
- The Committee asks the Government to continue to provide information on the activities of relevant bodies to promote equal pay and on the outcome of any follow-up action given to the research undertaken by NACEW and the EEO Trust on the gender pay gap.
Please refer to page 10 of this report for information regarding the research NACEW commissioned on economic arguments for narrowing the gender pay gap.
Please refer to pages 13-15 of this report for information regarding the Work-Life Survey 2006 and Diversity Survey 2007 published by the EEO Trust.
- The Committee asks the Government to indicate how these legislative measures have helped in practice to address more effectively equal pay claims and to eliminate unequal remuneration for men and women for work of equal value.
It is not possible for the Government to indicate how the legislative measures (relating to the HRA) have helped in practice to address more effectively equal pay claims and to eliminate unequal remuneration for men and women for work of equal value as there has been no jurisprudence during the reporting period on equal pay claims under the HRA.
- The Committee asks the Government to continue to provide information on relevant court decisions relating to the principle of equal remuneration for men and women for work of equal value.
Please refer to page 12 of this report for an update regarding the case of Talleys Fisheries Ltd v Lewis & Edwards.
There have been no other significant Court decisions relating to the principle of equal remuneration for men and women for work of equal value.
- The Committee asks the Government to keep it informed on any further developments in collecting and analysing appropriate data on the gender pay gap.
Please refer to pages 20-22 of this report for statistics and statistical analysis regarding the gender pay gap.
1 Fono is a Samoan and Polynesian word which refers to any council or meeting, such as a local village
2 Statistics New Zealand Income Survey. The ratios calculated for Pacific women are subject to high sampling errors.
3 Department of Labour – “Moving to four weeks leave: Employment Relations Service”.