November 2018 Equal Pay Amendment Bill

November 10, 2018 10:42 am

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to the Equal Pay Amendment Bill

As a member of the Pay Equity Coalition, RWNZ supports the submissions of other members of the Coalition itself.

In preparation for this Bill, we carried out a survey of our members. The key results are:

  • 74% of those replying to the survey worked in Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry
  • 71% didn’t work in a female dominated workplace
  • 64% owned their own business or enterprise
  • 48% held unpaid positions
  • 31% were aware they were paid less than male counterparts
  • Only 6% had experience with making equal pay claims
  • 80% think that there needs to be more information available and transparency around wages to make it easier to process claims
  • 75% said they do not support the bill being complaint based
  • 74% said that employers should have to complete regular pay equity audits.


Specific Comments

  1. There should be no barrier to access to the Employment Relations Authority for anyone to determine claims.
  2. The Employment Relations Authority needs to be fully resourced in order to be able to facilitate and fund the new roles and expectations expected of specialist and trained staff.
  3. The effective implementation of pay equity and pay equity processes requires resourcing.
  4. RWNZ would like to see a Pay Equity Commission established to oversee pay equity processes, gather statistics, hold information on comparators, carry out research and provide education.
  5. The functions and responsibilities of a Pay Equity Commission should be identified in the Bill/Act.
  6. Full transparency of information about pay is essential to achieving equal pay and pay equity.
  7. RWNZ believes that there should be transparency about pay rates, whilst keeping employee details private.
  8. The Bill should require employers to include sex and gender of employees when filing pay information with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
  9. This must be the next step in the work to achieve pay equity and equal pay for work of equal value.
  10. RWNZ would like to see transitional provisions in the Bill which do not disadvantage current claims.
  11. The Bill should include a clause (s) which clearly indicate to employers that the onus is on them to ensure equal pay for work of equal value.
  12. The bill needs to provide for regular pay equity audits by employers.
  13. The onus should not be on women to know the law and therefore their claims being complaints-based.
  14. RWNZ request that both a gender impact analysis and a rural impact analysis are carried out on the Bill so that any intersectionality of a woman working in the rural sector is taken into account with any impacts of this Bill.
  15. Many rural women carry out unpaid and underpaid work on farms and other primary sector businesses.


About Rural Women

  1. Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is a not‐for‐profit, member-based organisation that reaches into all rural communities and has an authoritative voice on rural environment, health, education, technology, business and social issues.
  2. RWNZ strives to ensure that all rural residents, workers and families have equitable access to services, inequalities are addressed by Government, and the wellbeing of rural communities is considered from the beginning of all policy and legislative development.
  3. RWNZ is affiliated to the Associated Country Women of the World and as such upholds all United Nations, ILO and WHO conventions and outcome statements as they relate to women and rural women in particular.
  4. RWNZ would like to draw particular attention to the United Nations Convention of the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women of the World, the outcome statement of the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and the Sustainable Development Goals as the relate to the equal treatment of rural women in the workplace.

We wish to provide an oral submission to the Committee and look forward to hearing of a suitable time.


Yours sincerely


Penelope England

Chief Executive Officer

Rural Women New Zealand

PO Box 12-021, Wellington 6144

p 04 473 5524


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