Pay Equity

Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles

In 2016, the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles provided recommendations to the government to guide the implementation of pay equity. The JWG noted that the current framework in the Equal Pay Act 1972 relies on the courts to determine principles for assessing pay equity issues and setting pay rates. The principles developed by the JWG aimed to deal with the complexity by creating a new pay equity claims process based on the bargaining framework in the Employment Relations Act 2000, for employees and employers to assess a pay equity claim and agree on a settlement.

In July 2017, the previous government introduced the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill which gave effect to the previous Government’s response to the Joint Working Group’s recommendations. Following the formation of a new coalition government, the Bill was withdrawn from Parliament in November 2017.

In January 2018 Ministers have announced the reconvening of the Joint Working Group to provide further recommendations that address key stakeholder concerns relating to the former Bill. These recommendations will be used to develop pay equity legislation that will enable the implementation of the original Joint Working Group Principles.

Read the Ministers' press release on the Beehive website

Former Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill

In April 2017 MBIE sought written submissions on a public consultation document of the former Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill.

Submissions closed on 11 May 2017. The submissions received represent views from individuals, union members, unions or worker associations, advocacy groups, employers, and law firms.

The key Cabinet papers relating to the former Bill are accessible below.