Gender pay gap stagnates as the government drags its feet on equal pay

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The gender pay gap is now at its highest point since the National government took office – and the PSA is urging Cabinet to implement the Joint Working Group’s recommendations without delay.

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand for the June 2016 quarter show men’s hourly earnings are 12 per cent higher than women’s - up from 11.8 per cent in 2015 and 9.9 per cent in 2014.

“This steady creep upwards in the gender pay gap is extremely concerning,” PSA Assistant National Secretary Kerry Davies says.

“Despite the lip service this government has paid to equal pay, the gap between men and women continues to grow.

“The average man makes $4.09 more per hour than the average woman.

“Over a 40-hour week, that’s $163.60 that a woman can’t use to feed her family and save for her retirement.”

After the Kristine Bartlett case, the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles was formed, bringing together unions, business organisations and the Crown.

Cabinet was sent the recommendations in May, but as yet has not made a decision.

“The minister for Women, Louise Upston, says the equal pay issue needs ‘conscious, measured and reported efforts’,” Ms Davies says.

“We agree, and we urge the government to walk the talk – by agreeing to fully implement the Joint Working Group’s recommendations.

“If government officials, employers and unions can agree on a workable way to deliver equal pay, then Cabinet should not drag its feet.

“New Zealand women are worth 100% - and we call on the government to reverse this dangerous trend.”