Government proposes disestablishment of Pay Equity Taskforce

Move criticized as 'gaslighting' by opposition

Government proposes disestablishment of Pay Equity Taskforce

The New Zealand government is proposing the disestablishment of its Pay Equity Taskforce, saying the support and facilitation for organisations is "no longer required."

The Pay Equity Taskforce is a team within the Public Service Commission tasked with developing and leading best practice guidance and support on the pay equity process.

It was launched three years ago by the previous Labour government under time-limited funding, which is set to end this June 30.

Ahead of the deadline, Public Service Minister Nicola Willis acknowledged that the taskforce has supported agencies in building up their expertise and knowledge of their obligations following changes to the Equal Pay Act.

"It is a sign of success that the process for settling pay equity claims has now matured to a point where the same level of governance support and facilitation from the taskforce is no longer required," Willis said in a statement.

"As such, the Public Service Commission is now consulting staff on the proposed disestablishment of the pay equity taskforce with time limited funding ending on June 30."

Opposition from Labour

But the proposal has been met with criticism from the Labour party, which called the move a "blow to women who have at some point in their lives wondered why they make less than men do."

According to Labour, disestablishing the taskforce will get rid of six roles and will also put at risk at least 25 pay equity claims.

"I am shocked that Nicola Willis, who has benefitted from the courage and determination of women before her, is making a decision that will leave women worse off," said Camilla Belich, Labour's spokesperson for workplace relations and safety, in a statement.

"Her statement is gaslighting women," she added. "Her argument that the taskforce has been so successful that its work is no longer needed is farcical."

Willis previously said that the government remains committed to pay equity and in meeting its obligations under the Equal Pay Act 1972.

But Belich said: "If she was truly committed to helping other women get what they deserve to be paid, she'd be funding this taskforce so claims could continue to be settled."

Recent articles & video

Immigration NZ employees put on leave after inappropriate conversation on Teams: reports

The Warehouse Group to lay off head office employees: report

Employers warned about risks of not having pay structures

US reports new cases of bird flu with poultry workers

Most Read Articles

Domino's Pizza franchise owner given home detention for exploiting staff

Immigration NZ employees put on leave after inappropriate conversation on Teams: reports

The Warehouse Group to lay off head office employees: report