CONVENTION 111 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
DISCRIMINATION (EMPLOYMENT AND OCCUPATION) CONVENTION, 1958 (No. 111)
- Please give a list of the laws and regulations, bilateral or multilateral instruments etc., which apply to the provisions of the Convention. Where this has not already been done, please forward copies of said legislation, etc., to the International Labour Office with this report.
In so far as there exist measures other than legislation, administrative regulations, etc., which are relevant to the implementation of the Convention, please indicate their nature.
Please given any available information concerning the extent to which these laws, regulations and instruments have been enacted or modified to permit, or as a result of, ratification.
Please see the Government’s previous report on Convention 111 for a full list of legislation that applies the provisions of the Convention.
The following legislation relevant to the Convention was 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.
The key Acts that apply the provisions of the Convention are the same as described in New Zealand’s previous report on Convention 111. The changes brought about by the legislation passed during the reporting period have been described in the Government’s report on Convention 100.
Updated information on paid parental leave, the Human Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust, the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women, Work-life balance, theOffice for Disability Issuesand the five year plan of action on Pay and Employment Equity has also been discussed in the Government’s report on Convention 100.
The New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006
Please refer to the Government’s previous report on Convention 111 for the provisions of the New Zealand Sign Language Act.
The 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 Women (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 contributes to a range of government initiatives that contribute to the priority areas of the Action Plan, including:
- the Pay and Employment Equity Plan of Action;
- the Choices for Living, Caring and Working Plan of Action, which includes work on:
- paid parental leave;
- early childhood education;
- out of school services; and
- work-life balance.
MWA monitors the implementation of the Action Plan. In 2007 MWA reviewed progress on the actions in the Action Plan and found that good progress had been made on many of the actions. Improving women’s participation in Modern Apprenticeships was identified as an area where there had been a lack of progress. As at the end of September 2007, 9.3% of Modern Apprentices were women.
The Government has a goal of increasing women’s participation on public sector boards and committees to 50 percent by 2010. As of December 2006, women made up 42 percent of Ministerial appointees to public sector boards and committees. MWA contributes to the achievement of this target by:
- increasing the pool of suitably qualified women for Ministers to make appointments from;
- disseminating evidence-based research on progress towards the target, and the benefits of diversity on board performance; and
- engaging with key decision-makers and leaders in the public and private sectors to help inform Government policy on ways to increase women’s participation in leadership.
Please refer to the Government’s report on Convention 100 for information on the work MWA is undertaking on occupation segregation.
The Ministry of Māori Development (Te Puni Kokiri)
Ngā Kainga Hou – For Māori Future Makers Report
In October 2007 the Government published the report: He Kainga Hou – For Māori Future Makers. The report is a forward-looking document that aims to better understand the future drivers of influence that will affect Māori participation and investment decisions in the future economy. The report highlights the need to understand future opportunities and pressures to ensure that Māori have access to the right education, opportunities and investment information to make positive decisions about the future.
The “For Māori Future Makers” report is available at:
Overall, while the increased rates of Māori labour force participation are encouraging, there is a need to ensure the skills of the large inflow of Māori that are entering employment are better matched to higher skilled and higher wage jobs which will continue to improve outcomes for Māori. There are a number of initiatives that are currently in place aimed at increasing the skill levels of Māori and these will be built on to support Māori engagement in the Skills Strategy.
These initiatives include:
- localised models of trade training for Māori;
- building management;
- governance and leadership skills;
- financial and entrepreneurship education.
The work that is progressing on Māori workforce development through the Hui Taumata Taskforce is a good example of what can be achieved.
Hui Taumata Taskforce and Māori workforce development
Alongside the work of government agencies, Māori have been developing their own approaches to increasing Māori skills, productivity and participation in the workforce. A series of initiatives have been undertaken by the Hui Taumata Taskforce (a group comprising eminent Māori, Business New Zealand and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions), following the Hui Taumata 2005. Of particular interest has been a Māori Workforce Development project which was initiated to focus on quality and relevant lifelong learning for Māori in order to lift skills, and for evidence-based planning for the Māori workforce of the future. Initially, the objective of the Māori Workforce Development project was to identify recent trends for Māori in the workforce. Pilot projects have focussed on:
- bridging support for Māori into employment;
- increasing Māori participation in industry training;
- career information, advice and guidance for Māori women; and
- increasing workplace productivity amongst Māori.
The Taskforce has also been working with others on a strategy for the wider Wellington region to identify labour market, skill development, education, and small business potential initiatives. The Taskforce expects this work will provide a strategy through which Māori, employers and educational institutions can identify and align their collective interests in improving Māori labour market outcomes.
Please refer to the Government’s report on Convention 100 for information on the Māori Women’s Development Incorporation.
The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs
The Pacific Economic Action Plan (PEAP), launched in August 2007, is reflective of Ala Fou findings (outlined in the Government’s previous report on Convention 111) with the development of a programme which looks at Growing Young Pacific Entrepreneurs. Youth are also recognised as the basis and building block for prosperity within the PEAP and the Pacific Women's Economic Development Plan, which was launched in August 2007. Both these plans seek to progress economic development for Pacific peoples in New Zealand.
Pacific Workforce Development
Despite the fall in Pacific unemployment, Pacific peoples continue to be over-represented among unemployed, lower skilled and low income earners when compared to New Zealand’s general population. Emphasis must be placed on improving the position of Pacific women in the labour force who are particularly over-represented among the unemployed and are paid significantly lower rates across all sectors than all other women.
Pacific Workforce Development is about identifying pathways leading to long term, sustainable and gainful employment outcomes. For this reason, Pacific Workforce Development is now embedded as a strategic goal within both the PEAP and the PWEDP. The aim is to develop a highly skilled and versatile Pacific workforce and confident, competent Pacific women in the workforce.
Key milestones and actions include a campaign to raise the awareness of the opportunities that exist for Pacific peoples in regards to Trades training with a specific focus on women and youth. Contributors include the Department of Labour, Tertiary Education Commission, Work and Income New Zealand, Auckland Regional Council, Industry Training Organisation and the City of Manukau Education Trust.
Please refer to the Government’s report on Convention 100 for information on the Pacific consultation fono undertaken on the minimum wage review.
The Office of Ethnic Affairs
The Office of Ethnic Affairs (OEA) was established in 2001 to support New Zealand’s Ministerial portfolio for Ethnic Affairs. It works as a conduit between Government and ethnic1 communities. Its purpose is to encourage and promote the strengths and benefits that ethnic diversity offers New Zealand. It is committed to ensuring that ethnic communities are seen, heard, accepted and included. OEA does not directly deal with discrimination which is rather addressed through anti-discrimination laws under human rights framework. OEA’s philosophy is to promote the strengths and benefits of diversity that help create awareness about ethnic diversity, address discrimination, and promote acceptance and social cohesion. It works with:
- Government on issues affecting ethnic New Zealanders by providing advice;
- ethnic groups to build strong, integrated and healthy communities;
- host communities to accept and include ethnic people;
- Government agencies, local authorities and service providers to ensure their services are responsive to the diverse needs of ethnic groups; and
- agencies that require a telephone interpreting service (Language Line).
The ethnic sector is growing and changing in New Zealand. In the 2006 Census over 200 ethnic identities were recorded; and ethnic population accounted for more than 11% of the total population and is projected to be about 16 to 18 per cent of an estimated population of 4.5 million in 2021 (based on 2001 Census).
OEA’s major intervention programmes include:
Helping public agencies engage with ethnic communities in a fair and responsive way:
- Language Line – Telephone Interpreting Service
OEA administers a professional telephone interpreting service to support improved access to government services for migrants and refugees with no or limited English. It provides interpreting in 39 languages, and is a free service for clients of participating agencies. Volume of calls ranges from 600 to 700 per week. There are 45 participating agencies that cover major service providers, including social security and health providers. A number of other agencies are considering joining the service. As of January 2008, there have been 100,000 interpreting sessions. OEA also actively encourages government agencies to provide information in multiple languages.
- Ethnic Perspectives in Policy (EPP)
In 2002, OEA developed a policy tool – Ethnic Perspectives in Policy (EPP) framework - to help government agencies engage with ethnic communities and to incorporate ethnic perspectives in policy development, so that policies and services will be more responsive to ethnic communities’ needs. This framework helps policy makers and service providers to consider how their work affects New Zealand’s ethnic communities. It sets out the Government’s approach to developing policies and services for ethnic people and underlines the Government’s philosophy that ethnic people should be seen, heard, included and accepted in New Zealand. OEA has been providing EPP training to public sector policy advisors/analysts. OEA has also contributed in developing the New Zealand Settlement Strategy and Settlement National Action Plan. It also provides secondary advice to government agencies on policy issues that affect ethnic communities.
- Intercultural Awareness and Communication (IAC) Programme
OEA has been promoting intercultural awareness in the public sector and ethnic communities since its inception. It has been providing a training programme and resources to enhance public sector employees’ intercultural and cross-cultural skills and assist them to communicate effectively with diverse ethnic communities. It has also developed Culture – Peeling back the layers, a CD-ROM for use in the public sector, which is designed to stimulate awareness of ethnic diversity in the workplace and promote intercultural competence. An Intercultural Awareness Team was established in January 2008 to promote intercultural competence and effectiveness as core business skills. It aims to provide advice on piloting and embedding intercultural training and linking to organisational goals, core policies and competencies not only in the public sector but also in local government, communities and the business sector.
- Connecting Diverse Communities
OEA also works with other agencies to promote stronger relationships between different ethnic, cultural, and religious communities in New Zealand. An initiative in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Development is Connecting Diverse Communities (CDC). The CDC work programme is organised around the following five areas:
- strengthening intercultural relations;
- addressing discrimination and promoting respect;
- improving connections with cultural identity;
- capacity building and community development; and
- building the knowledge base about diversity and what makes a society cohesive.
A public engagement process is being conducted through a series of community meetings and a mail-out questionnaire. Feedback will underpin further improvements to the initiative. Updates to this initiative will be provided in the next report.
Engaging with ethnic communities for capability building, and identifying needs and emerging issues
OEA has its ethnic advisors located in major cities of the country to work closely with all ethnic people. Activities include:
- Ethnic Community Forums;
- Employment Symposiums;
- Building Bridges – an initiative developed with the Muslim Community to foster leadership and to promote civic participation and inter-ethnic discussions and understanding;
- Hearing the youth voice - ETHOS Youth Forum – an initiative to bring ethnic and mainstream youth together to promote learning and relationship building and sharing key issues facing youth;
- Chinese Business Economic Information Exchange;
South Asian Forums;
- Networking – an ongoing programme to facilitate networks - between ethnic communities, central and local government agencies, non-government organisations and other New Zealand organisations, including media to promote diversity and civic participation; and
- Supporting Ethnic Women –Ethnic Women’s Network meeting, Latin American Women’s Network, Ethnic Women’s Voices - Access Radio Programme.
These activities help:
- participants to develop skills, share ideas, and gain intercultural and interfaith understanding and experience;
- OEA to identify ethnic sector needs, emerging issues, and the degree of responsiveness of government services;
- both communities and government agencies to explore options to work better in terms of meeting the needs of communities; and
- underpin OEA’s policy advice to Government.
Making diversity visible
OEA plays a key role in making ethnic communities visible, providing opportunities to interact with other ethnic and host communities and improving settlement outcomes for migrants. OEA has also developed a website and newsletter to publicise matters of interest to ethnic people. The following OEA activities help make diversity visible.
- Education Kits (Portraits 1: Youth and Portraits 2: Cultural Diversity): designed to encourage discussions and promote awareness about ethnic diversity among school children;
- Diversity Stage (since 2006): to enable the participation of ethnic groups in the ongoing ASB Auckland Secondary Schools Māori and Pacific Islands’ Annual Cultural Festival. OEA also produced a DVD of the Diversity Stage and distributed to secondary schools, youth networks and other interested groups;
- Ethnic Soccer Festivals: ongoing events in Christchurch and other cities; and
- Around the World in 30 Lounges: an initiative to promote cultural diversity where the traditional living-rooms of 30 ethnicities living in Christchurch were exhibited.
Tertiary Education Commission
Please see the Government’s previous report on Convention 111 for a description of the role of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).
TEC purchases the following vocational education and training programmes with the potential to help under-represented groups achieve equality in employment and vocational training:
- Training Opportunities provides full-time, fully funded training for people who are disadvantaged in the labour market, particularly long-term unemployed people or those who lack foundation skills, including language, literacy and numeracy skills. The majority of trainees enter the programme with no or low qualifications. A total of 17,537 individuals participated in Training Opportunities in the year ending 31 June 2007. As at 30 June 2007, 41% of trainees were Māori, 12% were Pacific peoples and female participants made up 51% of the total learners. Positive outcomes for the programme are strong. 71% of all learners who left Training Opportunities in 2007 moved on to further training or employment within two months of leaving. 53% of learners moved on to employment while 18% of learners progressed into further training or education outside the programme;
- Youth Training provides a bridge for young people under 18 years of age who have left school with no or low qualifications into further education, training or employment. In the year to 30 June 2007 year, more than 11,400 trainees participated in the programme. Of this number, 46% were Mäori, 11% were Pacific peoples and 45% were women. Training is customised to meet individual needs so learners can maximise their chances to achieve qualifications and employment outcomes. Providers must be responsive to the learning needs of all participants including Māori and Pacific peoples, women and people with disabilities. Positive outcomes for Youth Training trainees are high. Seventy-two percent of all learners who left Youth Training in the year ending 30 June 2007 moved on to further training or employment within two months of leaving;
- Skill Enhancement. This programme is a high quality vocational education and training programme for young Mäori and Pacific peoples. Skill Enhancement operates in two strands, Tupalaga Le Lumana’i for young Pacific People and Rangatahi Maia for young Mäori. Training is available in a wide range of industries and is designed to lead to a National Certificate at level 3 or 4 on the National Qualifications Framework, or an equivalent qualification at a Polytechnic. A proportion of the training takes place in the workplace. An important feature of Tupalaga Le Lumana’i and Rangatahi Maia is their cultural focus and pastoral care for the trainees. During the year ended 30 June 2007, an average of 341 trainees were actively participating in Skill Enhancement programmes. Of this group, 67% were Mäori, 32% were Pacific peoples and 51% were women. Positive destination outcomes for Skill Enhancement are very high with 83% of trainees moving into further education or employment in the year ended 30 June 2007;
- Gateway (launched in January 2001), is designed to broaden education options for senior secondary school students by offering them workplace learning opportunities that integrate structured workplace learning with senior students’ classroom-based learning. Students achieve training credits in the workplace, which they can use towards nationally recognised qualifications. This programme services low to medium socio-economic areas. During the 2007 calendar year, 8,351 students were involved in the Gateway programme. Of this group, 26% were Mäori and 10% were Pacific peoples. Male and female participation rates were almost equal. In 2006, 83% of Gateway students were in employment and further education or training three months after completing their Gateway placements. Six percent of Gateway students went on to a Modern Apprentice;
- TEC administers the Industry Training Fund ($NZD158.6 million in the year ended 30 June 2007) which subsidises Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) to purchase structured training toward industry recognised qualifications for employees with a focus on training at levels 1-4 (entry level to trades level) on the National Qualifications Framework. Industry recognised qualifications can provide recognition of the skills people already possess as well as those newly acquired. At 30 September 2007, there were 133,412 trainees participating in industry training. Of this number, 17.8% were Mäori, 6.6% were Pacific peoples and 28.2% were women2; and
- Modern Apprenticeships is a mentored pathway to an industry qualification at level 3 or 4 on the National Qualifications Framework. TEC funds Modern Apprenticeships Co-ordinators to facilitate apprenticeship placements for young people (aged 16-21), and to support Modern Apprentices and their employers during the term of the training relationship. Modern Apprenticeships Co-ordinators are to “have particular regard to the needs of Mäori, the Pacific peoples of New Zealand, people with disabilities, and women”3. Modern Apprenticeships was established in July 2000. As at 30 September 2007, there were 10,534 Modern Apprentices. Of this number, 15.2% were Mäori, 3.4% were Pacific peoples and 9.3% were women.
Community Enterprise and Development
In response to a changing labour market, the Government repositioned its community employment activities in September 2004 between the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and the Department of Labour (the Department), in order to provide for three broad roles: community-based labour market development, including the provision of grants (MSD), a knowledge role (the Department), and an engagement role (MSD).
The Department’s role is to understand the dynamics of work in New Zealand and to use its knowledge and expertise to influence the development of policies and services aimed at growth through work. The Department gathers together a plethora of information from a range of sources including official statistics, government data, surveys and experts working in industries and regions to analyse and report on what is happening with work.
Employers’ ability to access workers with the right skills at the right time is a critical factor affecting economic growth. The Department produces a wide range of general and in-depth information to help employers, industries, communities, regions and other government agencies to identify the skills that are most in demand across the country. The Department also works in partnership with regional, industry, community and government planners to develop a joint view about ways to address skill and labour shortages.
Strong regional development depends on a well functioning labour market. The Department has staff working in regions in partnership with regional decision-makers and industry leaders to develop a strong understanding of the dynamics of the local labour market and identify opportunities to grow regions through co-ordinated action. Key areas of focus include support for the tertiary education reforms and working with MSD to smooth transitions between jobs.
New Zealand’s economic transformation agenda aims to achieve a high skill, high wage, high value economy. This transformation will depend on significant changes in workplace practices to lift overall productivity. The Department is supporting leaders in key industries (for example, Food & Beverage, Horticulture & Viticulture, Manufacturing, Information & Communications Technology) to develop recruitment and retention, skills and productivity strategies aimed at lifting performance, and ensuring these industries will drive economic growth into the future.
Although more people are working than ever before, the Department continues to focus on ensuring all New Zealanders have the opportunity to develop through access to decent work. Key areas of focus include monitoring the work experiences of groups who continue to face barriers to employment (for example Māori, Pacific Islanders, Migrants, carers, older workers) and working in partnership with regional, industry, community and government planners to develop actions aimed at providing more people with opportunities to work.
Ministry of Social Development
Please refer to the Government’s previous report on Convention 111 for a description of the Ministry of Social Development.
Improving Sustainable Employment Outcomes for Māori job seekers
As well as the skills and employment assistance that the Government has put in place to assist disadvantaged job-seekers generally, there are several specific initiatives that aim to improve the employment outcomes for Māori job-seekers. These initiatives involve a number of agencies at both the local and national levels including Te Puni Kokiri (TPK), Housing New Zealand Corporation and District Health Boards. Examples include:
- initiatives in regions with high Māori populations;
- partnerships with other agencies to create sustainable employment for people through skills development; and
- partnerships with local and regional councils to create employment schemes that benefit local communities.
The increased emphasis on individualised service, and particularly changes to employment and training assistance, support people into more sustainable employment and improve outcomes for Māori by providing support and introducing initiatives to increase their labour market participation.
Outcomes for Māori
The number of Māori transitioning into sustainable employment between December 2006 and December 2007 increased by 2%. Those exiting from unemployment-related benefits rose by 3.3% during the twelve months. These trends contributed to the reduction in the overall number of recipients of unemployment-related benefit and to the growth of sustainable employment.
Māori labour force participation increased by 4.3% between 2003 and 2007. Working age Māori in the age groups of 20-24 year olds and 50-65 year olds showed the highest rates of increases in employment rates at 8.8% and 12.9% respectively, during the five year period. Many longer-term unemployed Māori who were unemployed for 27-52 weeks, and over 53 weeks, were able to find employment during the five year period.
Māori employment grew by 14.9% (an increase of 27,800) between 2003 and 2007. More Māori women were employed in higher skilled and higher paid occupations: as legislators/managers/administrators (an increase of 50.8%), as semi professionals/technicians (an increase of 45.6%), and as professionals (an increase of 16%). About 863 were assisted to self-employment through the Enterprise Allowance and 957 were assisted toward self-employment by TPK through the Māori Business Facilitation Service.
Māori received better wages in 2007 compared to 2003. The median weekly incomes across all occupations rose by 20%, benefiting mostly those in service/sales (a rise of 32%), and semi-professionals/technicians, agriculture/ fisheries and elementary occupations (a rise of 24%).
Māori unemployment, and the gap between Māori unemployment and the overall unemployment rate, both improved significantly.
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Working New Zealand
The Working New Zealand: Work Focussed Support package has been developed to build on the Working for Families package. Through Working New Zealand (WNZ) a range of services have been expanded and developed to help support people to gain, retain or resume sustainable employment. Working New Zealand focuses on people’s individual needs regardless of what type of financial support they are entitled to; and Work and Income case managers work with people to prepare for a return to work as their circumstances allow.
The WNZ package contains many concrete measures to help ensure its key focus of assisting clients into sustainable employment can be met. WNZ has:
- introduced a new Job Search Service in Work and Income centres nationwide, providing intensive job search support that is targeted to the person’s individual needs;
- provided wider access to employment and training assistance and a stronger focus on supporting people to achieve their work and income needs;
- introduced new assistance that will help people move into employment, such as the Transition to Work Grant – designed to meet the additional costs of entering employment (up to $1,500 per year for costs such as job search, bridging finance and job placement);
- streamlined some rules to make the system simpler to understand and administer – such as introducing a two year residency requirement across all benefit types and paying all benefits on a weekly basis;
- introduced more than 90 new specialist advisors and employment co-ordinators who will provide additional specialist support to case managers working with clients who have ill-health or a disability; and
- introduced enhanced services for people with ill-health and disabilities to move in to work.
Please refer to the Government’s report on Convention 100 for information on the Ministry of Social Development’s Working for Families package.
Same Sex Couples
Another significant development has been the introduction of civil unions (for both same and opposite sex couples) and the Social Security Amendment Act 2005 which provided for same sex couples in a de facto relationship and couples who formed a civil union to be treated the same as a married couple or an opposite sex de facto couple for social security purposes.
Changes to employment and assistance programmes
In April 2007 a number of policy changes were implemented to employment and training assistance.
A New Course Participation Assistance grant became available and is designed to help with the cost of participating in shorter-term employment and training programmes; and assist with the costs of childcare and transport and some short course fees, for example Heavy Traffic Licence fees.
The changes to the Transition to Work grant included making the grant available to people on benefits, students and low income earners moving into the workforce or facing a short gap (up to four weeks) between jobs; and is designed to help with costs related to job seeking, job placement (including relocation) and the costs of living until the first pay is received.
To enhance access and increase effectiveness of the Work Experience Programme, the maximum duration of work experience was changed to four weeks, with a maximum of five days a week for forty hours a week.
Activity in the Community is no longer available to work-tested clients. It is available to non-work tested clients or those exempt from engaging in job seeking and planning activities.
Improvements to Wage Subsidies include consolidating the current suite of seven wage subsidies/skills training into two new payments:
- Skills Investment Subsidy acts as a joint wage/training subsidy for up to 52 weeks; and
- Taskforce Green Subsidy - projects will be fixed term community or environmental projects that would not otherwise be done.
Effect of policy changes
These changes were designed to enhance entitlement for all clients, including 16 and 17 year olds and Māori. There are some specific enhancements to the changes which may be of particular interest:
- clients do not have to be unemployed for 26 weeks before they can access more intensive (and expensive) assistance;
- clients are assessed on an individual basis not by benefit type;
- employment and training assistance is granted based on the needs of the client; and
- assistance may be granted to those who are not in receipt of some form of government financial assistance who may be disadvantaged in the local labour market and at clear risk of long-term benefit dependency.
These changes provide Work and Income with the ability, at the earliest possible point, to work with clients who are at risk of becoming long term unemployed and reduce that risk.
State Services Commission
A midpoint review of the current Public Service equal employment opportunities policy, ‘EEO Policy to 2010: Future Directions of EEO in the Public Service’ was undertaken in 2005/6. The State Services Commission (SSC) has revised the policy in line with the findings of the review and subsequent consultation with departments and EEO/diversity stakeholders. The revised policy, ‘Equality and Diversity: New Zealand Public Service Equal Employment Opportunities Policy’ will take effect from April 2008.
The new Equality and Diversity Policy will:
- reposition EEO activities under the banner of ‘equality and diversity’;
- support integration of equality and diversity into strategic business planning and performance, while reducing the focus on compliance;
- reinforce chief executive leadership in modelling, valuing and integrating equality and diversity into all aspects of the business; and
- simplify and improve the effectiveness of the EEO/diversity policy.
Comprehensive guidance has been prepared to support departments implementing the equality and diversity policy.
The SSC continues to monitor equal employment opportunities across the Public Service through quantitative data collection and analysis of representation and distribution of groups within the Public Service in line with the State Sector Act 1988. These groups are Māori, women, ethnic and minority groups and people with disabilities. This is reported in the annual “Human Resources Capability Survey of Public Service Departments” report, which can be found on the SSC website, www.ssc.govt.nz.
The SSC also periodically reports on the progress of equal employment opportunities across the Public Service. This report incorporates qualitative and quantitative analysis of Human Resources Capability Survey information, Statistics New Zealand census and post-census survey, departmental reports and commissioned research. The 2007 report will have a special focus on people with disabilities. Previous reports can be found on the SSC website, www.ssc.govt.nz.
The State Services Commission’s involvement with the Human Rights Commission is set out in the Government’s previous report on Convention 111.
- Please indicate in detail for each of the following articles of the Convention the provisions of the above-mentioned legislation and administrative regulations, etc. or other measures under which each article is applied.
If, in your country, ratification of the Convention gives the force of national law to its terms, please indicate by virtue of what constitutional provisions the ratification has this effect. Please also specify what action has been taken to make effective those provisions of the Convention which require a national authority to take certain specific steps for its implementation.
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 "discrimination" includes-
- any distinction, exclusion or preference made on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin, which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation;
- such other distinction, exclusion or preference which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation as may be determined by the Member concerned after consultation with representative employers' and workers' organisations, where such exist, and with other appropriate bodies.
- Any distinction, exclusion or preference in respect of a particular job based on the inherent requirements thereof shall not be deemed to be discrimination
- For the purpose of this Convention the terms "employment" and "occupation" include access to vocational training, access to employment and to particular occupations, and terms and conditions of employment.
Paragraph 1 (a): please indicate whether there exist in your country any distinctions, exclusions or preferences falling within this paragraph:
- in law or administrative practice;
- in practical relationships between persons or groups of persons.
Please refer to the Government’s previous reports on Convention 111 for an outline of existing legislation.
Please supply detailed information on the actual situation in your country regarding vocational training, employment and occupation of persons according to their race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.
- Vocational training
|All ITOs||European/ Pakeha||NZ Māori||Pacific Peoples||Other||Not Specified||Total|
|All ITOs||European/ Pakeha||NZ Māori||Pacific Peoples||Other||Not Specified||Total|
Note: These figures include Modern Apprenticeships
The statistics presented in the table cover 38 Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) that were supported by the Industry Training Fund as at 30 September 2007. The comparatively low proportion of women participating in Industry Training is due to complex historical factors related to “traditional” employment patterns and the segmentation of the labour market. Also, industries that had long-standing apprenticeship traditions tended to be male dominated, and these industries were well placed to access funding from the Industry Training Fund when it was set up. TEC continues to promote the spread of industry training into new industries that employ higher proportions of female staff. ITOs are encouraged to take positive steps to increase the proportion of women in non-traditional training.
- Employment according to Gender and Ethnic Group
The rate of unemployment in New Zealand has declined for both males and females since the Government’s last report on Convention 111, which provided figures from March 2005. Table 2 (on page 16) provides employment data from year to December 2007. The rate of unemployment for males has decreased from 3.9% to 3.4%, and the rate of unemployment for females has decreased from 4.5% to 3.9%.
The rate of unemployment for Pacific peoples has decreased from 6.7% to 6.5%, and the rate of unemployment for Māori has decreased from 8.8% to 7.7%. The rate of unemployment for European/Pakeha, in comparison, was 3.6%.
- Occupation according to Gender and Ethnicity
Table 3 (on page 17) presents labour market information by sex and ethnic group. This table updates the information provided in the Government’s previous report. The tables are compiled from statistics drawn from the Household Labour Force Survey conducted by Statistics New Zealand.
Males are over represented in the occupational categories of:
- trades workers;
- agriculture and fishery workers;
- elementary occupations; and
- plant and machine operators.
By contrast, females are over represented in the occupational categories of:
- clerks; and
- service and sales workers.
The figures also show that Māori and Pacific Island labour force are disproportionately distributed toward the industry groupings of:
- service and sales;
- trades; and
- elementary occupations.
Paragraph 1 (b): Please indicate whether other kinds of distinctions, exclusions or preferences have been specified in accordance with this subparagraph, and give particulars of the consultations with representative employers’ and workers’ organisations and other appropriate bodies which have taken place in relation thereto. Please supply in respect of any such distinctions, exclusions or privileges the same information as that requested under paragraph 1 (a) above.
Please refer to the Government’s previous reports on Convention 111.
Paragraph 2: Please indicate the main cases in which as condition of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin is not considered in your country as discrimination owing to the inherent requirements of the particular job. Please indicate any difficulties of application, disputes or controversies which have arisen in relation to such conditions.
Please refer to the Government’s previous reports on Convention 111.
Each Member for which this Convention is in force undertakes to declare and pursue a national policy designed to promote, by methods appropriate to national conditions and practice, equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of employment and occupation, with a view to eliminating any discrimination in respect thereof.
Please indicate how the national policy designed to promote equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of employment and occupation has been declared, and communicate copies of all constitutional or legislative provisions, government statements, etc, relating to the declaration of this policy.
Please refer to the Government’s previous reports on Convention 111.
Please describe the general methods (legal procedures, practical methods, etc.) by which this policy is being implemented in respect of each of the following fields:
- access to vocational training;
- access to employment and to particular occupations;
- terms and conditions of employment.
(a) access to vocational training
Ministry of Education - Tertiary Education Strategy
Specific education programmes (including Modern Apprenticeships and programmes for jobseekers) have been discussed above under Part I.
The overall framework for addressing equality of opportunity in tertiary education is set out in the Tertiary Education Strategy. There are three broader strategies that consider how the whole of the education system can support equality of opportunity for different groups:
- Ka Hikitea addresses these issues for Māori;
- the Pasifika Education Plan addresses these issues for Pacific peoples; and
- Kia Orite: Achieving Equity sets out a New Zealand Code of Practice for an Inclusive Tertiary Education Environment for Students with Impairments.
The Tertiary Education Strategy aligns itself with these other strategies, and directs investment decisions in the tertiary sector.
One of the three broad areas for contribution is “Success for All New Zealanders through Lifelong Learning”. This includes the broad objective of “Ensuring Maximum Educational Opportunity for All New Zealanders”, which seeks to address a broad range of educational disparities.
The Tertiary Education Strategy also establishes four priority outcomes. These are areas for immediate attention, and in some cases increased investment. One of these four priorities is “increasing the achievement of advanced trade, technical and professional qualifications to meet regional and industry needs.”
This priority includes the following two objectives for Māori and Pasifika:
- Increasing the achievement of advanced trade, technical and professional qualifications to meet regional and national needs: Māori
- Overall Māori are well represented in the achievement of trades and technical qualifications. However, participation is mainly focussed in a narrow range of trades with high participation by Māori men;
- To succeed in achieving this priority there is a need to build on this base and increase achievement across a range of qualifications to support Māori economic development. Increasingly Māori economic development will rely on leadership and management capability, which the tertiary education system can help support through both specific study options and quality learning across a range of disciplines; and
- In measuring the success of this priority, specific evidence of tertiary qualifications that meet the needs of Māori, both in regional and national industry, will be looked for.
- Increasing the achievement of advanced trade, technical and professional qualifications to meet regional and national needs: Pasifika peoples
- Pasifika students are well represented in trades, technical and professional qualifications. However, they are more highly concentrated in some areas, such as education, than others, such as health and engineering;
- To succeed in achieving this priority there is a need to build off this base and increase achievement across a range of qualifications, including those accessed through Modern Apprenticeships, to support Pasifika economic development. There is a need to ensure that Pasifika people can choose from, and move into, a range of careers and become a vital part of the future prosperity of the country; and
- In measuring the success of this priority, specific evidence of tertiary qualifications that meet the needs of Pasifika, both in regional and national industry, will be looked for
(b) access to employment and to particular occupations;
Please refer to the activities discussed above by the Ministry of Social Development to promote access to employment.
(c) terms and conditions of employment.
Equal Employment Opportunities Provisions in Collective Employment Agreements
The Department of Labour collects information relating to provisions in collective employment agreements.
As at 31 March 2008, the Department of Labour database of collective agreements contained information relating to 1470 active agreements, covering 185,060 employees. Of these agreements, 107 (7.3%) contain EEO provisions covering 18% of employees, which is down from 18.3% in 2006; 0.8% of active agreements contain explicit provisions relating to Māori; and 56% contain culturally sensitive Bereavement Leave provisions.
Equal Employment Opportunities Plans and Policies
The Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Trust has collected information about the number of businesses with EEO plans and policies. The following data is from the Diversity Survey 2007 Report:
The proportion of respondents with a strategy or a policy endorsing EEO or diversity continues to increase, up to 93% in 2007, up from 86% in 2005. For EEO Employers Group members this figure is 96%, up from 93% in 2005.
27% of respondents had an action plan to implement their EEO/diversity policy or strategy, down from 35% in 2005. 19% of private sector organisations had a documented plan, compared to 35% of public sector organisations. 24% of private sector organisations reported that an action plan was under development, compared to 29% of public sector organisations.
Almost a quarter of respondents (24%) built accountability for EEO/diversity into managers’ contracts. Responses were most likely to ensure compliance with EEO/diversity principles in the area of recruitment (94%), followed by pay equity (80%) and training (80%).
The public sector is more likely to be active in EEO/diversity activities than the private sector. The EEO Employers Group were more likely to be active than non-members.
Each Member for which this Convention is in force undertakes, by methods appropriate to national conditions and practice-
- to seek the co-operation of employers' and workers organisations and other appropriate bodies in promoting the acceptance and observance of this policy;
Paragraph (a): Please indicate the measures taken to obtain the co-operation of employers' and workers' organisations and other appropriate bodies and describe the form taken by any such co-operation.
There has been no change during the reporting period. Please refer to the response provided under Article 3 of the Government’s previous report on Convention 111.
- to enact such legislation and to promote such educational programmes as may be calculated to secure the acceptance and the observance of the policy.
Paragraph (b): Please indicate all legislative and other provisions designed to secure the acceptance and observance of the national policy, and describe the means by which they are applied and any relevant procedures to which persons concerned may have recourse. Please describe the manner in which public education and information on the anti-discrimination policy are provided or promoted.
Please refer to Part I for a description of work performed by the EEO Trust.
State Services Commission
The State Services Commission continues to work to promote EEO policies and practices in the Public Service. Please refer to Part I for further information.
National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women
Please refer to the Government’s report on Convention 100 for a description of the work performed by the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women.
Workplace Group, Department of Labour
Please refer to the Government’s previous Convention 111 reports for a description of the Workplace Group of the Department of Labour.
The Department of Labour provides free information and guidance in relation to employment relations, health and safety and general workplace issues to the public. 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 111.
Human Rights Commission
Please refer to the Government’s report on Convention 100 for a description of work performed by the Human Rights Commission.
- to repeal any statutory provisions and modify any administrative instructions or practices which are inconsistent with the policy;
Paragraph (c): Please indicate whether any measures have been taken or are contemplated to eliminate any statutory or other provisions or administrative practices which are inconsistent with the national anti-discrimination policy.
Please refer to the information provided in the Government’s report on Convention 100 regarding the repeal of the Disabled Persons Employment Protection Act 1960.
- to pursue the policy in respect of employment under the direct control of a national authority;
Paragraph (d): Please describe the manner in which the policy is applied in respect of employment under the direct control of a national authority, and supply all appropriate information on the actual 45 methods or procedures followed to this end as regards recruitment, promotion, conditions of employment, termination of employment, etc.
- to ensure observance of the policy in the activities of vocational guidance, vocational training and placement services under the direction of a national authority;
Paragraph (e): Please supply particulars of the measures taken to promote equality of opportunity and treatment regarding vocational training and occupational guidance under the direction of national authority. Please supply particulars of the manner in which placement services under the direction of a national authority ensure observance of the policy mentioned in Article 2, and of the means available to these services and to those who use them to ensure such observance.
Please refer to pages 7-8 of this report for information regarding the Tertiary Education Commission and its initiatives regarding vocational training.
- to indicate in its annual reports on the application of the Convention the action taken in pursuance of the policy and the results secured by such action.
Paragraph (f): Please describe the results of the measures taken in pursuance of the national policy, and supply any information available (such as reports, studies, statistics, etc.) which may show the changes which may have occurred in regard to the vocational training, employment and conditions of employment, in the various branches of activity and at various occupational levels, of persons defined according to criteria such as those mentioned in Article 1.
Statistical information on the employment and unemployment rates for men and women, broken down by ethnic group and by occupation and industry, can be found in Tables 2 and 3 of this report.
Please refer to the Government’s previous reports on Convention 111, and to Part I of this report, for details of labour market programmes run by government departments and other organisations. Further information is on these programmes is also included in the Government’s report on Convention 100.
Any measures affecting an individual who is justifiably suspected of, or engaged in, activities prejudicial to the security of the State shall not be deemed to be discrimination, provided that the individual concerned shall have the right to appeal to a competent body established in accordance with national practice.
Please indicate any legislative or administrative measures and national practice governing the employment or occupation of persons suspected of, or engaged in, activities prejudicial to the security of the State, and give particulars of the right of appeal available to the persons concerned.
There has been no change during the reporting period. Please refer to the Government’s previous reports on Convention 111.
- Special measures of protection or assistance provided for in other Conventions or Recommendations adopted by the International Labour Conference shall not be deemed to be discrimination.
- Any Member may, after consultation with representative employers' and workers' organisations, where such exist, determine that other special measures designed to meet the particular requirements of persons who, for reasons such as sex, age , disablement, family responsibilities or social or cultural status, are generally recognised to require special protection or assistance, shall not be deemed to be discrimination.
Please indicate whether it has been determined that any special measures of the type described in paragraph 2 of this Article shall not be deemed to be discrimination. If so, please give particulars of such measures and of consultations with representative employers' and workers' organisations in relation thereto. Please also state why the continuance of the measures in question is considered to be necessary.
There has been no change during the reporting period. Please refer to the Government’s previous reports on Convention 111.
Each Member which ratifies this Convention undertakes to apply it to non-metropolitan territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation.
This convention is applied in Tokelau, New Zealand’s only metropolitan territory.
- Please state to what authorities and institutions the application of the abovementioned laws, regulations, and international instruments etc., is entrusted.
There has been no change during the reporting period. Please refer to the Government’s previous reports on Convention 111.
- 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.
There have not been any significant cases or changes to the approach taken by the courts and relevant tribunals in applying legislation applicable to Convention 111 since the Government’s last report.
In that last report, the Government provided information on the case Talleys Fisheries Limited v Lewis & Edwardsdecided by the Human Rights Review Tribunal during the reporting period that provided an indication of that approach. An update on the outcome of an appeal in this case is provided in the Government’s report on Convention 100.
- Please add a general appreciation of the manner in which the Convention is applied, including, for instance, extracts from official reports as well as information on any practical difficulties in the application of the Convention.
As discussed in this report, there are a range of options available for individuals who wish to bring discrimination claims. The extent to which these options have been used in the period covered by this report is outlined below:
(1) The Employment Relations Act 2000
The Department of Labour collects data on applications brought to the Employment Relations Authority and the Mediation Service of the Department of Labour. During the period June 2006-May 2007 the following data was collected regarding the nature of grievances:
|Personal Grievance||Employment Relations Authority||Mediation Service|
The data shows that a much greater number of claims were mediated as employment relationship problems, rather than going to the Authority.
The Department of Labour provides mediation services to help people resolve their employment relations problems quickly and effectively. This also helps to reduce the workload of the Employment Relations Authority, allowing it to deal with more serious employment disputes.
(2) Human Rights Act
Complaint and enquiry statistics in employment
Between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2007, the Commission received 1067 matters, including both enquiries and complaints relating to the unlawful grounds of discrimination.
Of those matters, 470 were enquiries and complaints relating to unlawful discrimination in the areas of pre-employment and employment. Below is a breakdown of these complaints and enquiries by all grounds of discrimination:
|Grounds of discrimination||Number of complaints|
|Ethnic or national origins||60|
Please note that the total ground counts as above do not total with the number of complaints and enquiries received. This occurs because any one complaint can have two or more grounds.
Below is a breakdown, from both the private and public sector, of all complaints and enquiries received by the Commission from 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2007:
|Grounds of discrimination||Number of complaints|
|Ethnic or national origins||105|
|No Value Entered||19|
Bio-data, geographical and industry sector data of complainants
The Commission has only recently begun to actively collect particular data from complainants or respondents. In the period between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2007 data was collected as it was made known to the Commission.
Also, the Commission uses the geographical regions and industry sectors as defined by Statistics New Zealand. For further details please visit www.stats.govt.nz.
Of the 470 complaints and enquiries received about unlawful discrimination in employment and pre-employment, below is a breakdown of complainant’s data for age, gender ethnicity and region:
Please note that where the complaint is brought by a couple or where the gender of the individual is not known, no gender is shown.
|African (or cultural group of African origin)||6|
|British and Irish||4|
|New Zealand European/Pakeha||44|
|Pacific Peoples nfd||2|
|Southeast Asian nfd||1|
|Bay of Plenty Region||15|
|Hawkes Bay Region||3|
|Manawatu and Wanganui Region||16|
|Marlborough, Nelson and Tasman Region||10|
|No Value Entered||81|
Please note that the regions of Tasman, Nelson and Marlborough have been combined to be reported on as one region.
Pursuant to concerns about the accuracy of data, when not actively collected, collection of demographic data is being reviewed and consequently some data has not been reported on. Sector data falls into this category. Systems are being introduced to actively collect statistical data and over time the range of information collected will increase.
- 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.
Responses to observations made by the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations in 2008
The Committee asks the Government: (1) to continue to provide information on the education and training initiatives, and their impact, on improving access of Māori and Pacific workers to training and education, including in degree level and postgraduate courses, and to employment; (2) to provide information on the measures taken or envisaged to address discriminatory attitudes based on race, colour, or national extraction, including any research or awareness-raising campaigns; and (3) to indicate the specific measures taken, including under the Auckland Migrant and Refugee Strategy, to address stereotypical attitudes by employers with respect to migrant workers and to ensure that migrant workers are not discriminated against on the basis of race, colour or national extraction.
Please refer to pages 7-8 for information on initiatives to improve access of Māori and Pacific workers to training and education.
In regards to degree level and postgraduate courses, approximately 182,000 people were enrolled in 2006 in study at bachelors level or higher, of whom 17,000 (a decrease of 2.4% on 2005) were Māori, and 7,850 (an increase of 4.0% on 2005) were Pacific Peoples. The overall 5-year retention rate (domestic students who began study at bachelors level or above in 2002 and had either completed or continued studying in 2006) was 61%. The 5-year retention rate for Māori was 49%, and for Pacific peoples it was 47%.
Please refer to Part I of this report for information regarding measures taken to address discriminatory attitudes, particularly the information provided by the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust and the Office for Ethnic Affairs.
Auckland Migrant and Refugee Strategy
The Auckland Migrant and Refugee Strategy was a 4-year strategy and its funding ended at the end of June 2007. A number of the initiatives have ceased to exist, but there are some that have been carried over into the initiatives by the Ministry of Social Development. There have been no specific measures taken to address stereotypical attitudes by employers with respect to migrant workers.
Please refer to pages 4-6 for information provided by the Office for Ethnic Affairs regarding migrants and refugees.
New Zealand Settlement Strategy
The New Zealand Settlement Strategy (NZSS) was initially developed and introduced in 2004. In 2007, a revised version of the Strategy was launched accompanied by a Settlement National Action Plan.
NZSS has seven intermediate-level goals to ensure that migrants, refugees and their families:
- are accepted and respected by host communities for their diverse cultural backgrounds and their community interactions are positive;
- obtain employment appropriate to their qualifications and skills and are valued for their contribution to economic transformation and innovation;
- become confident using English in a New Zealand setting or are able to access appropriate language support;
- access appropriate information and responsive services that are available in the wider community;
- form supportive social networks and establish a sustainable community identity;
- feel safe within the wider community in which they live;
- accept and respect the New Zealand way of life and contribute to civic, community and social activities.
A specific employer focused action, with its genesis in Auckland but with likely national application in due course, is Action 2.5 of the Auckland Settlement Action Plan.4 This action aims to develop an effective practice guide for mainstream agencies to support recruitment processes that are responsive to the needs of migrants and refugees.
Part One of this action, led by the Department of Labour and now completed, was the development of a report on international and domestic recruitment practices in government agencies and their responsiveness to migrants and refugees. The report, "A Foot in the Door.... A report on international and domestic recruitment practices in government agencies and their responsiveness to migrants and refugees"5 identified examples to inform the effective practice guide for mainstream agencies.
Part Two of this action, led by the Office of Ethnic Affairs in conjunction with the State Services Commission, is in progress now. Part Two involves the development of an effective practice guide in light of the report’s findings. This suggests that the guide should also be considered as part of a package that includes training for all staff involved in recruitment, not just Human Resources professionals. The action is scheduled for completion this calendar year.
The Settlement Support New Zealand initiative (in 19 locations nationwide managed via contracts for services with the Settlement Division in the Department of Labour) also provides the opportunity for engagement with employers at the local level. In some localities Settlement Support New Zealand coordinators are engaging with employers to assist in increasing employers’ understanding of the settlement process, and as a result also improve their understanding of newcomers.
The Settlement Division is also working with Workforce Relationship Managers to deliver employer seminars around the country with the emphasis on the settlement process and employing people from backgrounds different from those of the employers. This is work in progress, but does contribute to improved understanding and reduced discrimination.
The Committee asks the Government to indicate how these measures have had an impact on improving equality between men and women in the workplace, and in particular on facilitating the return to, and reintegration in, the workforce of women with family responsibilities, as well as on addressing the occupational gender segregation in the labour market. Noting the extensive measures taken to assist workers with family responsibilities, the Committee asks the Government to indicate whether any consideration is being given to ratifying the Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156).
Detailed descriptions of the initiatives to improve equality between men and women in the workplace and facilitating reintegration to the workforce of women with family responsibilities have been included in the Government’s report on Convention 100. These initiatives include Paid Parental Leave, Flexible Working Hours, Work Life Balance and the Five Year Plan of Pay and Employment Equity.
Please refer to the Government’s report on Convention 100 for information regarding the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women’s report on the Economic Arguments for Narrowing the Gender Pay Gap.
There is currently no consideration given to ratifying the Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156), although the New Zealand government continues to maintain a policy of regularly considering the ratification of ILO conventions.
Response to comments made by the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations in 2008
- Noting, however, that the Government does not provide any specific information on the practical measures taken to promote workplaces free from sexual harassment, the Committee hopes that such information will be included in the Government’s next report.
Practical measures undertaken by the Human Rights Commission to promote workplaces free from sexual harassment include:
- Providing guidance on being a “good employer” and monitoring Crown entities on being a good employer. One of the seven key elements of being a good employer is harassment and bullying prevention;
- Developing and delivering a training package for harassment and bullying prevention (Dignity at Work);
- Regularly providing organisations with referral to commercial training providers in relation to the prevention of sexual harassment;
- Responding to requests from organisations for education about sexual harassment;
- Providing fact sheets on sexual harassment, both online and on request; and
- Providing a complaint mechanism for individuals. Of all complaints received by the Human Rights Commission between 1 July 2006 and 30 June 2007, 6.7% were discrimination on the grounds of sexual harassment. One of the outcomes from the Dispute Resolution Service included compensation for sexual harassment complainants.
- The Committee asks the Government to keep it informed of the outcome of the research undertaken by the HRC regarding the situation of transgender people and on the strategies proposed and action taken to address discrimination against them in employment and occupation. Please also provide information on complaints submitted to the HRC and the courts regarding sex discrimination of transgender people.
Inquiry into discrimination experienced by transgender people
In January 2008 the Human Rights Commission released the final report of its 18 month Inquiry into discrimination experienced by transgender people (www.hrc.co.nz/transgenderinquiry). One of the three components of the Inquiry’s terms of reference was the nature and extent of discrimination experienced by transgender people. The other two areas highlighted were the ability for transgender people to have their gender identity legally recognised, and the accessibility of public health services to transgender people.
The Inquiry received 128 submissions and met with over 200 people. Four out of five submissions identified examples of discrimination against transgender people; with employment discrimination the most commonly cited form of discrimination (75 submissions). The Inquiry found that transgender people in New Zealand face discrimination during all stages of employment. The key themes were access to employment, job retention and promotion and workplace safety. Transgender people were often particularly vulnerable to discrimination early on in their transition, or if their gender identity was disclosed to other work colleagues. Those who transitioned (to live in their appropriate gender identity) at work often feared losing their job and spoke highly of supportive employers and work colleagues.
In order to reduce discrimination and marginalisation experienced by transgender people, the Inquiry recommended:
- clarifying, for the avoidance of doubt, that protection from sex discrimination in the Human Rights Act 1993 includes protection from discrimination on the grounds of gender identity;
- recognising that protection from discrimination under the Human Rights Act 1993 requires policies and practices to be inclusive of transgender people, whatever their sex or gender identity; and
- that the Human Rights Commission, together with transgender people, develop a human rights education programme to address human rights and discrimination issues for transgender people.
In addition, the Inquiry report suggested that the Department of Labour work with the Human Rights Commission, transgender people, employers and unions to provide information about issues for transgender people in the workplace.
A number of other key recommendations are likely to have significant impact on the experiences of transgender employees. In particular, these include:
- increasing government agencies’ consultation and collaboration with transgender people, starting with the priority areas outlined in the Inquiry report (which are employment, education and safety); and
- simplifying the requirements for changing sex details on a birth certificate, a passport and other documents to ensure consistency with the Human Rights Act.
As an initial step, in March 2008 the Human Rights Commission and Ministry of Social Development jointly presented a workshop for state sector human resources practitioners on gender identity and sexual orientation workplace issues.
Complaints and Enquiries to the Human Rights Commission
Given the small size of the transgender population, the absolute number of complaints and enquires to the Human Rights Commission from transgender people is small. However the Inquiry report and previous consultations by the Commission indicate that the level of marginalisation is significant. International research also suggests that the proportion of transgender people who face employment discrimination is likely to be high.6
Many transgender people told the Inquiry that they “just expect” discrimination and prejudice from other New Zealanders. In addition, transgender people were unclear about whether or not they were protected from discrimination under the ground of sex in the Human Rights Act 1993.
The table below indicates the number of discrimination enquires or complaints to the Human Rights Commission by transgender people in 2005, 2006 and 2007. It also indicates the number of complaints that dealt with pre-employment or employment issues.
|Year||Complaints or enquiries||Pre/ employment issues|
The number of employment or pre-employment enquires and complaints have increased slightly over this period. At the same time, there has been an increase in other types of complaints and enquiries, some of which are relevant to employment issues. These include, for example, difficulties in changing sex details on documents (such as passports, birth certificates or drivers’ licences) to recognise a transgender person’s gender identity. Without such documentation, many transgender employees fear discrimination whenever their identity needs to be verified (for example, when applying for jobs, or travelling on business).
Recently, the Human Rights Commission has been able to identify the number of complaints and enquiries about gender identity issues (whether or not they have been made by a transgender person). This updated data indicates that between 1 July 2007 and 12 March 2008 the Commission had received 33 such complaints and enquiries.
Relevant court cases
The process for legally changing sex details on a birth certificate involves an application to the Family Court under ss 28 or 29 of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995. While the results of these applications are generally not publicly available, submissions to the Inquiry highlighted some emerging issues. These included whether an overseas born New Zealand citizen, is able to access these provisions. The Inquiry welcomed the April 2007 decision by Judge Ellis in W v The Registrar-General, Births, Deaths and Marriages, where a transgender woman born overseas was able to receive a declaration confirming her sex to be female. As at April 2008, that decision was still under appeal to the High Court by the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The Inquiry recommended that if the High Court decides the Family Court does not have jurisdiction under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act, the Family Court should be granted specific powers under another statute.
- The Government is requested to continue to provide information on the measures taken to promote equality of opportunity and treatment for persons with disabilities in the workplace.
Please refer to the Government’s report on Convention 100 for information regarding the repeal of the Disabled Persons Employment Protection Act and information outlining the initiatives of the Office for Disability Issues of the Ministry of Social Development.
- The Committee asks the Government to provide information on the following: (1) the impact of the parental leave legislation on achieving equality in the workplace and the measures taken to encourage more fathers to take up such leave; (2) any legislative steps taken to ensure the right to breastfeed at work; and (3) the progress made in the adoption of the draft legislation on flexible working hours, taking into account the comments by Business NZ and the NZCTU.
Please refer to the Government’s report on Convention 100 for information regarding paid parental leave and the Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007.
The right to breastfeed at work will be protected and promoted by amending the Employment Relations Act 2000 to require employers to provide, where reasonable and practicable, facilities and breaks for employees who wish to breastfeed. The law change will be supported by a code of employment practice, offering guidance to employers on how to uphold these obligations. The Employment Relations (Breaks and Infant Feeding) Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament on 9 April 2008. The Transport and Industrial Relations Committee has received public submissions on this Bill, and is due to report to Parliament on 22 June 2008.
- Noting that the Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Commissioner is making efforts to address the under-representation of women and to improve diversity in the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme, and that the ITF is taking measures to promote the spread of industry training into new industries that are female dominated, the Committee asks the Government to provide information on the results achieved with respect to a more balanced representation of men and women in vocational training programmes.
According to figures provided by the Tertiary Education Commission in regard to Gender and Ethnicity of Industry Trainees, between 31 December 2005 and 30 September 2007 the rate of female participation in industry training has increased slightly for every ethnic group. The overall participation rate for females has increased from 26.7% to 28.2%.
- Noting that the SSC is developing a new Public Service Equal Employment Opportunities/Diversity Policy, the Committee hopes that this policy will include measures to address the occupational segregation of the public service along ethnic and gender lines, particularly with respect to management positions. The Committee asks the Government to keep it informed of the adoption of the policy and its implementation, as well as of the outcome of the pay and employment equity reviews. Please also continue to provide statistical information, disaggregated by sex and ethnic group, on the progress made in achieving equality in the public service.
Please refer to pages 12-13 for information regarding the State Services Commission Equality and Diversity Policy. In regard to pay gaps in the public service, the State Services Commission has provided the following data:
|Males: average total hourly earnings ($ per hour)||26.1||26.47||27.43||29.33||30.63||32.24|
|Females: average total hourly earnings ($ per hour)||21.02||21.68||22.64||25.19||25.26||26.31|
|All persons: female earnings as a % of male earnings||80.50%||81.90%||82.50%||85.90%||82.50%||81.60%|
|Males: average total hourly earnings ($ per hour)||20.07||20.78||21.65||22.31||23.35||24.29|
|Females: average total hourly earnings ($ per hour)||17.05||17.75||18.58||19.32||20.08||20.99|
|All persons: female earnings as a % of male earnings||85.00%||85.40%||85.80%||86.60%||86.00%||86.40%|
The following table represents ethnic pay gaps in the public service and in the wider labour force in 2007:
|2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||Wider Labour Force – 2007|
- The Committee asks the Government to indicate the practical impact of the EEO plans and policies in respect of achieving equal treatment in access to jobs and in their terms and conditions of employment for the workers covered. Please also continue to supply statistical data on the progress achieved in including EEO provisions in collective employment contracts and agreements as well as in the adoption of EEO plans and policies, both in the public and private sectors
The following is from the 2007 Diversity Survey Report, published by the EEO Trust:
“The proportion of respondents with a strategy or policy endorsing EEO or diversity continues to increase – to 93% this year, up from 86% in 2005 and 77% in 2004. For EEO Employers Group members the figure is 96%, up from 93% in 2005 and 89% in 2004. The public sector continues to lead in this area at 98%, but the private sector has shown the greatest increase at 88%, up from 78% in 2005.
There has been a slight decline overall in the proportion of organisations including their EEO/diversity strategy in their strategic objectives, down to 45% from 49% in 2005. This decline occurred primarily in the private sector. EEO Employers Group members were also down while the public sector showed a slight increase, from 55% to 56%, and the not-for-profit sector saw a large increase, from 43% to 59%.
There has been a small increase in the proportion of respondents which collect data to monitor EEO/diversity; mentor or develop target groups; and ensure compliance of policies and practices with the general principles of EEO/diversity and with the Human Rights Act. EEO Employers Group members reported declines in most implementation steps since 2005. The areas of greatest decline were preparing written action plans and training managers in diversity. Members reported increases in mentoring or development of target groups and harassment prevention measures.
Almost a quarter of respondents (24%) consistently build accountability or responsibility for EEO/diversity into managers’ performance contracts. This is slightly down on 26% in 2005. EEO Employers Group members were much more likely than non-members to do this. Differences between the public and private sectors were not great, but the not-for-profit sector was much less likely to do this.
The proportion of organisations with data collection systems to monitor progress on their EEO/diversity strategy is 39%, up from 38% in 2005. Public sector organisations were most likely to be doing this, probably due to mandatory EEO reporting in the public sector. There has been an increase in data collection for each individual category. This is particularly strong for data on the disability status of employees – 49% this year, up from 37% in 2005.”7
- The Committee welcomes the activities by the various state bodies relating to the application of the Convention, and asks the Government to indicate in its next report the specific impact they have had in achieving greater equality of opportunity and treatment in employment and occupation.
Please refer to Part I of this report for information regarding the initiatives of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women, the Human Rights Commission, the National Equal Opportunities Network, and the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust.
- The Committee asks the Government to continue to provide information in its reports on decisions of the courts and other relevant bodies relating to discrimination in employment and occupation.
Please refer to the Government’s report on Convention 100 for an update regarding the case of Talleys Fisheries Ltd v Lewis & Edwards. There have been no other significant cases during the reporting period.
1 The ethnic sector is defined as people whose traditions and cultures distinguish them from Māori, Pacific and Anglo-Celtic New Zealand residents.
2 The comparatively low proportion of women participating in Industry Training and Modern Apprenticeships is due to complex historical factors related to “traditional” employment patterns and the segmentation of the labour market. Also, industries that had long-standing apprenticeship traditions tended to be male dominated, and these industries were well placed to access funding from the Industry Training Fund when it was set up. TEC continues to promote the spread of industry training into new industries that employ higher proportions of female staff. ITOs are encouraged to take positive steps to increase the proportion of women in non-traditional training.5 Planning is currently underway to publish this report in the 2008/09 year.
7 Modern Apprenticeship Training Act 2000, section 17(c).