NZ urged to speed up implementation of pay gap reporting

'[It] is an important first step towards establishing a mandatory pay transparency system'

NZ urged to speed up implementation of pay gap reporting

The New Zealand government is being urged to expedite the implementation of pay gap reporting for employers ahead of International Women's Day on March 8.

"We know from overseas experience that requiring businesses to measure and report their pay gaps is an important first step towards establishing a mandatory pay transparency system that will make a real difference to the lives of New Zealand women and our ethnic communities," said Dellwyn Stuart, co-founder of MindTheGap NZ. "But it is important that the work is completed quickly so we can get on with making the many more changes New Zealand needs."

Pay gap reporting is already required in New Zealand's public service, where gender pay gap fell to 7.7% and Māori pay gap declined to 6.5% in 2022, according to the Public Service Commission.

Stats NZ data, however, said the pay gap across New Zealand remains at 9.2% as of August 2022, according to the Ministry for Women.

"Currently for every dollar a Pākehā male earns, a Pākehā woman is being paid 89 cents, a Māori man 86 cents and a Pasifika woman 75 cents," MindTheGap NZ said in a media release.

To address the problem, MindTheGap NZ previously delivered an 8,559-signature petition to the government calling for the legislation of gender and ethnicity pay gap reporting among employers.

"We have numerous businesses who have led the way by registering their pay gap reporting. Almost 9,000 people signed a petition urging action on pay gaps, we have a poll that shows 75% of Kiwis want mandatory reporting and charities and unions have told us how urgent this is," said Jo Cribb, also a co-founder of MindTheGap NZ.

Australia's pay gap reporting

The statement came as the co-founders of MindTheGap NZ lamented that New Zealand is falling behind internationally in pay gap reporting, following the introduction of a new Australian bill requiring employers with over 100 employees to report gender pay gap.

"While our government has talked about it, the Australians are acting. How long will the wait be until a New Zealand prime minister makes the same statement in our House?" Stuart said.

The call for the government to speed up action on pay gap reporting came as women and ethnic communities face "mounting pressure" following the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and recent weather-related disasters.

The government has since launched an advisory group to address the issue of pay gap transparency in workplaces.

"We know mandatory reporting works – we've seen its success in the public sector. We look forward to the outcome of the advisory group to be expedited quickly," Cribb said.

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