Since the early 20th century, women in New Zealand and around the world have fought for equal pay in the workforce. Until 1960, it was legal for men and women to be paid different rates despite doing the same work. The Government Service Equal Pay Act 1960 abolished this gender-based pay scale for workers in the public sector, before the Equal Pay Act 1972 applied the same principles to the private sector.
Today, the gender pay gap remains a hotly debated topic. Despite the progress on this topic, statistics show female-dominated occupations tend to be lower paid and women in higher-level jobs are under-represented.
While the fight for equality in the workforce continues for female workers in New Zealand and around the world, the Equal Pay Act 1972 was one of many successful stepping stones towards reaching this goal.
The Equal Pay Act 1972 is a New Zealand law amending the unequal pay rate between male and female workers. It ensures all employees are paid equally based on the value of their work and skill without any regard to the gender of the employee.
In the Act’s own words, it is:
“An Act to make provision for the removal and prevention of discrimination, based on the sex of the employees, in the rates of remuneration of males and females in paid employment, and for matters incidental thereto.”
The Act clearly outlines a broad range of rules, guides and definitions regarding equal pay that employers must understand and follow to be compliant with employment law.
Some of the topics the Act goes into detail about include:
The Equal Pay Act 1972 outlines a number of key criteria businesses must satisfy to be compliant with New Zealand law. These range from pay equity to ensuring the company provides equal opportunity for all their employees.
Below are some of the most important takeaways from the Act of importance to businesses across New Zealand:
A fair and balanced pay structure is not only a legal requirement, it is good for business too. Below are some of the many benefits to having equal pay in the workforce:
For advice regarding the Equal Pay Act 1972 and what it means for your business, contact Employsure on 0800 675 700.