New Zealand developing voluntary calculation tool to address gender pay gap

Business leaders laud move as 'positive step forward'

New Zealand developing voluntary calculation tool to address gender pay gap

The New Zealand government has announced that a new voluntary calculation tool is underway in a bid to narrow the country's gender pay gap.

Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston said the government will be working with business leaders to agree on an "easy-to-use approach to voluntary pay gap reporting."

This will allow all businesses to have access to the same measurement components to calculate their pay gaps, according to the minister.

"Partnering with the business community will allow us to build on work they have already done on calculating gender pay gaps," Upston said in a statement.

"Having a clear and consistent method for doing this is an important step in making it easier for organisations to measure, understand, share, and take action to close their gender pay gaps."

New Zealand's gender pay gap is currently at 8.6%, according to the Ministry for Women, and has remained around nine per cent since 2018.

"Gender pay gaps are complex, and they can be inconsistent when taking into account things like part-time workers and the inclusion of bonus and performance pay," Upston said. "Action is needed to address the systemic barriers faced by women that contribute to the gender pay gap."

'Positive step forward'

Champions for Change, a collective of over 80 of New Zealand's CEOs and Chairs, commended the government for the measure.

"This is a positive step forward and we have been pleased to support the Ministry's work to date," said Antonia Watson, Champions for Change Co-Chair and CEO of ANZ, in a statement.

"Measurement and reporting our own gender pay gaps has been an important part of the Champions' progress and we certainly support the initiative to make this more accessible for businesses across Aotearoa."

The voluntary calculation tool comes after years of pressure from the public to introduce measures to address the pay gap, such as mandatory reporting for large businesses. In 2022, a public registry funded by the Clare Foundation was launched where organisations can report their gender and ethnicity pay gaps.

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