Groundhog Day for pay transparency

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

Labour is asking for the exact same advice on pay transparency that a Green Minister first asked for five years ago.

“It must be pay transparency Groundhog Day in the Beehive. Rather than doing the same work, based on the same research, which will result in the same advice, let’s just save everyone the time and move straight to the solution and make pay reporting a legal requirement,” says the Green Party’s spokesperson for Workplace Relations and Safety, Jan Logie.

Today the Government announced that it has asked the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) to act as the national advisory group on pay transparency in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“The Green Party is calling on the Government to stop going over the same ground and introduce pay transparency legislation.

“Today’s announcement bears a remarkable similarity to work started in 2017 by the then Minister for Women and Green MP Julie Anne Genter.

“Back then, the former Green Minister wrote to the NACEW asking for advice on pay transparency. This was followed in 2019, with a letter asking NACEW members to provide advice on how pay transparency could be progressed.

“Then, in 2020, the former Ministers for Women and Workplace Relations and Safety made clear in a letter to businesses and unions that the Government would progress work on pay transparency, with a specific focus on Māori, Pacific and ethnic pay gaps.

“From 2017-2020, NACEW did a great deal of work on pay transparency, including socialisation and research.

“NACEW also supported Global Women and Champions for Change to do work on pay gap reporting, and businesses like Westpac and Spark published theirs in 2019.

“Now, here we are, five years later with Labour announcing that it is once again asking for the same advice from NACEW. It suggests that nothing whatsoever has been done since 2020.

“High rates of inflation are not being felt equally. Lower-income families who spend the majority of their income covering the essentials like food and rent, are hit the hardest.

“Changing the rules to make pay gap reporting compulsory would make a huge difference to people’s lives and analysis from overseas shows it could lift some people’s incomes by up to $35 per week.

“The Government does not need to ask NACEW to come up with the same advice it already has – especially when we already know what works. Let’s just get on and pass legislation to make pay transparency reporting mandatory,” says Jan Logie.

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