Gender Pay Gap Reporting for Large Businesses Proposed in New Zealand
By: WE Staff | Friday, 11 August 2023
On August 11, 2023, Jan Tinetti, the New Zealand minister for women, unveiled a plan to encourage workplace equality by compelling large firms to publish their gender wage disparities. The plan, which is a cornerstone of the Labour party's manifesto as it gears up for an election campaign, aims to increase transparency and push companies to take action to reduce gender-based wage discrepancies.
The new rule requires about 900 businesses with more than 250 employees to disclose their gender wage disparities. Jan claims that over the course of the following four years, this regulation will be expanded to include companies with more than 100 employees, or a total of around 2,700 companies.
"Women and men have different perspectives on the job, and this has to change. If companies are required to reveal their gender pay inequalities, Jan emphasised that this will increase worker transparency by forcing companies to address the reasons behind these differences.
Women hold more than half of senior managerial positions in the public sector, and the gender pay gap has decreased to a record-low 7.7%, while overall economic development has stalled. According to OECD data, the gender pay gap was 9.2% in 2022.
As more private companies, including well-known brands like Air New Zealand and Spark, have voluntarily reported or aim to publish their gender pay inequality, there is growing awareness of the issue. Jan claims that New Zealand, on the other hand, recognises the need for structured reporting in order to follow worldwide standards and recruit highly skilled women to the workforce.
A government household survey conducted in 2021 found that women in New Zealand made 89 cents for every dollar non-ethnic men in the nation made. This difference is even more pronounced among some ethnic minorities, with Mori women earning 81 cents to the dollar and Pasifika women earning just 75 cents.
The government aims to consult with the public before enacting the law, and it is also considering implementing reporting of ethnic pay differences for Mori and Pacific peoples, according to Associate Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Priyanca Radhakrishnan.
Even though there are just three weeks left in the current legislative session, the law will likely be put into effect as soon as a new government is installed, even though it hasn't yet been written.
Priyanca stated, "We've chosen to publish our plan to introduce a reporting system early in the process in order to ensure that we obtain substantial input from stakeholders to influence the architecture of the system before legislation outlining the system is drafted.
In New Zealand, the center-right opposition National Party, which has long identified itself as a supporter of tax cuts and policies that are beneficial to business, is now ahead of the ruling Labour Party in the polls. Chris Hipkins, the current prime minister, who replaced Jacinda Ardern earlier this year, faces the challenging task of leading his party to victory in this significant election on October 14.