PSA welcomes government’s decision on Equal Pay

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New Zealand can once again claim to be a leader in gender equality today, the PSA says – as the government has accepted the Joint Working Group’s recommendations on equal pay.

Employees who believe they’re underpaid because they do “women’s work” will be able to approach their employer to raise an equal pay claim.

“This is a huge step forward for low paid workers in New Zealand – whether they’re men or women,” PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says.

“There are many jobs in New Zealand that have historically been done by women, like support work or administration and clerical – and their work is undervalued.

“Today’s decision by the government sets about righting that wrong, and we’re delighted.”

The Joint Working Group – led by Business NZ, the NZ Council of Trade Unions and Government representatives – submitted its recommendations to Cabinet earlier this year.

The PSA will now raise equal pay claims for thousands of low-paid women – after previously advocating for social workers and admin/clerical workers, Ms Polaczuk says.

“We firmly believe women are Worth 100%, and with this decision, the government has acknowledged that New Zealanders agree.

“When women are paid what they’re worth, they have more money to raise their children, save for their retirement and spend in their local economies.

“And the government wins too – because this will increase the tax take and reduce spending on subsidies like Working for Families.

“This is an excellent example of what can be achieved when unions, business and the government work together: a fairer deal for workers, and a better working life.”