Draft Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill

Submissions closed: 11 May 2017, 5pm


The Draft Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill promotes the enduring settlement of pay equity claims through a bargaining framework and re-enacts, in an up-to-date and accessible form, the provisions of the Equal Pay Act 1972 relating to claims for equal pay and unlawful discrimination.

Broadly the framework for the settlement of pay equity claims involves the following features:

  • Any employee may raise a pay equity claim with their employer.
  • Upon receiving a claim, the employer must assess and determine the merit of the claim based on factors set out in the Bill. The employer’s decision to refuse a claim can be challenged.
  • If the employer accepts that the claim has merit as a pay equity claim, the parties must enter into pay equity bargaining:
  • Bargaining is guided by principles on how the work is assessed in pay equity bargaining. This involves an assessment of the work and the work of suitable comparator occupations.
  • The parties may agree to a bargained outcome at any point.
  • Where bargaining reaches an impasse, the parties may access mediation or facilitation or determination by the Employment Relations Authority.

The Bill amends the Employment Relations Act 2000, and repeals and replaces the Equal Pay Act 1972 and the Government Service Equal Pay Act 1960.