Free content by Fresh

Tuesday, September 20

Bold Policies to Close the Gender Pay Gap Welcomed

“The announcement today that the Labour Party will introduce pay equity legislation is welcome news”, CTU President Helen Kelly said today. “The recent outrage shown by women when the Auckland Employers and Manufacturers Association blamed them for the pay gap, is an indication of the unfairness women feel about the continuing discrimination they see every week in their pay packets”

“It is clear both from our own experience and from the international experience that pay equity legislation is necessary to close the gender pay gap, said Helen Kelly.

“Closing the gender pay gap will recognise the vital contribution by women to New Zealand’s economy. We have very high rates of female participation in the workforce and it is time to guarantee that women are valued and paid fairly and equally. But these changes won’t just magically happen. Legislation is needed to change not only behaviours but also pay rates.”

The Human Rights Commission research found an overall gender pay gap in public service departments of 15.4% and as high as 39%. Research from the Ministry of Education released just last week confirmed that females with post grad qualifications earn less than males at all levels of study after four years.

“And we also welcome the positive signal about changes to the Paid Parental Leave Act. Good paid parental leave provisions are essential for the well being of new families. It is also and essential component for women to participate equally and fairly in the labour market. It is no accident that countries like Sweden and Denmark have much better children’s outcomes than we have – given they have very much superior paid parental leave provisions and early childhood policies generally,” said Helen Kelly.

“Suffrage Day is a great day to make these announcements. We congratulate the Labour Party for bold policies that will make a difference for women and their families.”