Saunoamaali'i Karanina Sume
Saunoamaali'i Karanina Sume

Almost half of New Zealanders say they were paid less for doing exactly the same job as someone else, but most did not complain to their boss because they did not trust him for help.

According to a new survey, women, young workers and those earning between $ 40,000 and $ 80,000 were more likely to experience unequal pay, generally finding that a colleague, not their boss, paid less.

Employees reported that the gap was sometimes due to their skill level, but age, gender and ethnicity were also considered to be key factors in the wage gap.
The results of the investigation, in new Human Rights Commission research into workers’ wage experiences, prompted new calls to end New Zealand’s wage “secrecy” by adopting new ones. transparency laws which they aligned with other similar nations.

“Particularly now, with many people who feel very vulnerable and think they should say” yes “to any job because of Covid and that the power dynamics are influenced, we have to legislate change”, said Commissioner for Equal Employment Opportunity Saunoamaali. ‘i Karanina. Sumeo

Saunoamaali'i Karanina Sume
Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sume
Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo says pay transparency is a key tool in fighting for equal pay. Photo / Supplied

“We have had the law on equal payment since 1972. But we still have problems because the individual has to fight alone, and beyond sex, there is also great ethnic inequality.”

Sumeo has been at the forefront of a campaign calling for wage transparency in New Zealand, which would force companies to report to a capital agency; forced to release data on ethnic wages and gender; or available in employee groups.

She and other activists, such as unions and women’s groups, had hoped that wage transparency provisions would be included in the equal pay amendment bill that is making its way through parliament today. hui.

Bill added to Equal Pay Act, which says it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex, ensuring fair wages for industries where women make up the majority of the workforce . However, despite the lobbying, no provision on wage transparency was included.

At the time, Minister of Labor Relations and Security Iain Lees-Galloway is said to have “delayed the process”.

What has happened to progress has paid for transparency since then is unclear. Documents published at the Herald show that there was a literature review organized in mid-2019 and a deadline for a planned job created in September, but the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has refused to publish this deadline.

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