Will employers be forced to reveal their 'gender pay gap'?

Government is being petitioned by organisations to mandate a new equality policy

Will employers be forced to reveal their 'gender pay gap'?

Thirteen New Zealand organisations are calling on the government to demand that large businesses publicly report their pay gaps, according to MindTheGap NZ.

"We're asking the government to even up the playing field and require businesses to report their pay gaps publicly," the open letter from the 13 organisations said. "We need you to take action, now."

According to MindTheGap NZ, the 13 organisations include:

  1. Skycity
  2. Westpac
  3. Frucor Suntory
  4. AIA
  5. Lion
  6. DB Breweries
  7. Coca Cola
  8. Xero
  9. Kiwibank
  10. Meridian
  11. Chorus
  12. Z Energy
  13. Auckland Transport

Read more: Extra efforts needed to close pay gap

These organisations have worked on reporting and addressing the pay gaps within their workforces. AIA New Zealand published its gender pay gap publicly in March.

"We did this to encourage the gender pay conversation, as well as to ensure that as an organisation we hold ourselves accountable for addressing our current pay gap and commit to making improvements," added CEO Nick Stanhope.

Claire Walker, SkyCity chief people and culture officer, also said that their organisation is "proud" to report their gender and ethnic pay gaps.

"Requiring public reporting will help increase accountability for businesses and also provide a common framework for tracking progress," said Walker.

Thanks to their efforts in ensuring fairer workplaces, these 13 organisations have been Gender Tick accredited. This is a programme that assesses organisations against a framework, giving employees assurances they'll work in a safe and inclusive environment regardless of their gender.

"We value Aoteoroa's diverse workforce and are committed to the Kiwi value of fairness for all," read the letter. "That is why we've taken steps to provide a place to work that is equal for all genders in becoming Gender Tick accredited. In doing so, we have measured our pay gaps, and reported them publicly. Now we're working to fix the gaps."

Read more: Employers not doing enough to address pay gap

The call from the organisations follows a recent poll from MindTheGap NZ, which revealed that 75% of Kiwis want to see a requirement for medium and large employers to publish their pay gaps.

MindTheGap NZ is an alliance that aims to address the pay gap in the country. It recently launched its own registry that shows whether a business has published its pay gaps. According to MindTheGap, the registry aims to "encourage all organisations to do the right thing by signing on and committing to pay gap reporting."

New Zealand's gender pay gap was at 9.1% in 2021, according to the Ministry for Women. To close this gap, the ministry urged businesses to measure their pay gap, ensure that gender isn't a factor in salaries, and remove gender bias from the recruitment processes. 

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