The Green Party is calling on the Government to pass legislation to increase pay transparency, saying it is an urgent step that needs to be taken in response to shocking new evidence that most of the pay gap for Pacific, Māori, and other ethnic minorities cannot be explained.
“The shocking new evidence released today is a wakeup call that politicians must respond to,” says Green Party spokesperson for Workplace Relations and Safety, Jan Logie.
“Right now, the incomes of people from different backgrounds are severely out of balance. Pasifika women earn on average around three quarters of what Pākeha men get paid. For every $1 a Pākehā man earns, Pasifika men and a Māori woman earn 81c.
“We’ve known about this problem for decades. What is shocking about today’s report is that it confirms exactly how much of this problem is a result of racial discrimination in the workplace. While we acknowledge fair pay agreements will help, the extent of the problem calls for more action..
“My Employment Relations (Information About Wages) Amendment Bill would be a good step forward. It would help remove unconscious bias and ensure employees have the information they need when negotiating pay and the Government could introduce this immediately.
“We also need the Government to move more quickly to put a comprehensive pay transparency regime in place, as they had promised two years ago.
“Yesterday we received news that inflation had reached a 32 year high. But the impact of this is 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. This would mean Māori, Pacific and other ethnic minorities have more money for food, to pay the bills, and provide for their families,” says Jan Logie.