The Government has been acting to reduce the gender pay gap for more than 50 years. The Government Service Equal Pay Act 1960 introduced equal pay legislation into the public service. Women were to be paid the same as men for doing the same work under the same conditions. This was followed by the Equal Pay Act 1972 which extended equal pay to the private sector.
The gap still persists but work is underway to address this. The Government has implemented a set of pay equity principles and updated the pay equity legislation. This will make it easier for women to file pay equity claims with their employers, rather than having to go through the courts and assist employers in addressing those claims.
The Government continues to raise awareness about the gender pay gap and its drivers, and to work with business and public service leaders to generate more urgency around closing the gap.
The public service
Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women is working with Te Kawa Maataho Public Service Commission to address gender pay gap issues in the public service. Public service organisations report to Te Kawa Mataaho on their gender pay gaps and include information on the action they are taking to address them in their four-year strategic plans.
Work in this area includes a cross-agency working group to increase the prevalence of quality flexible work arrangements in the public service, and increasing diversity in senior leadership. Here are the published gender pay gap action plans for agencies in the public service, as at 9 September 2020.
Ongoing monitoring and reporting through the Te Kawa Maataho workforce data survey is an important tool for prompting progress.The workforce data makes more data publicly available than ever before, including gender pay gaps for individual agencies, and average salaries for men and women in different ethnic groups.
Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women's gender pay gap data is not included in Te Kawa Maataho Public Service Commission's public service workforce data. The Ministry's gender pay gap, as at 30 June 2020, was 7.6 percent in favour of men. This follows previous year’s gaps of 1.1 percent (2019) and 6 percent (2018) in favour of men. Changes in the Ministry’s staffing (even small changes) impact on its gender pay gap. Care should be taken with the interpretation of the figure. Due to its size, the Ministry's gender pay gap does not meet the threshold required to produce meaningful high level gender pay gap statistics as specified in the Stats NZ guidelines for measuring organisational gender pay gaps. The guidelines require size of organisation and ensuring an organisation has 20 men and 20 women within an organisation.
The Ministry has a focus on diversity and inclusion. It monitors its human resources practices to understand how changes in roles with the Ministry impact on its gender pay gap.