Work is underway to eliminate the gender pay gap in the Public Service and to resolve pay equity claims in the State sector.

Ensuring women's pay reflects their skills, efforts and responsibilities, and is not negatively affected by their gender, is about fundamental human rights. It is a priority for the Government, Public Service chief executives and State sector leaders.

The Gender Pay Taskforce

The Gender Pay Taskforce l Te Rōpū Whakarite Utu Ira Tangata is a partnership between the Ministry for Women and Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission to realise the Government’s aims on the gender pay gap and pay equity. The Taskforce:

  • supports agencies to deliver Te Mahere Mahi Rerekētanga Ira Tangata l The Gender Pay Gap Action Plan (June 2020). Version 1 of the Action Plan was published in July 2018
  • supports the implementation of the recommendations of the Reconvened Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles (and any subsequent legislation) within the State sector
  • promotes Ngā Mātāpono Utu Ira Tangata l the Gender Pay Principles and is developing guidance with the Gender Pay Principles Working Group, which is comprised of unions, State sector agencies, and Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission.

Guidance and resources

There is more information about the gender pay gap on the Ministry for Women website, and there is information about the gender pay gap in the Public Service in the annual Public Service Workforce Data reports.

Gender pay gap in the Public Service

  • In the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan the Government, Public Service chief executives and the Public Service Association agreed a comprehensive set of actions and targets that will help close the gender pay gap in the Public Service. You can read about progress on the Action Plan, factors in its success, and the remaining challenges in the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan Progress Report.
  • The Public Service aims to lead the way in addressing the workplace drivers of the gender pay gap.
  • The Gender Pay Principles provide a framework for creating working environments free of gender-based inequalities, based on collaborative action between agencies, employees and unions. Eliminating gender pay gaps is a chief aim of the Principles.

Pay equity in the State sector

  • The Government’s expectation is that pay equity claims need to be resolved in accordance with the Equal Pay Act 1972.

Delegation for Public Service pay equity claims

The Public Service Act 2020 (the Act) provides a new role for the Public Service Commissioner (Commissioner) for pay equity claims in the Public Service, similar to the Commissioner’s existing role to negotiate collective agreements in the Public Service. The Commissioner is responsible for dealing with pay equity claims as if the Commissioner were the employer, and may delegate his/her functions and powers for claims to Public Service chief executives.  A single delegation instrument which delegates the Commissioner’s functions and powers for both pay equity claims and collective agreements is available here.

Pay Equity resources

Raising a claim

Assessing a claim

Pay equity claim working days calculator

This calculator is to help employers respond to a pay equity claim within the legislative timeframes set out in the equal Pay Act 1972.  If a claim is raised the employer has specific timeframes in which to provide written correspondence, notify parties and make decisions. These timeframes are measured in working days.

Definition of working day

For the purposes of the specified timeframes in the Equal Pay Act 1972 the definition of working day in the Interpretation Act 1999 (Part 5, section 29) applies.  Working day means a day of the week other than –

  1. a Saturday, a Sunday, Waitangi Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, the Sovereign’s birthday, and Labour Day; and
  2. a day in the period commencing with 25 December in a year and ending with 2 January in the following year; and
  3. if 1 January falls on a Friday, the following Monday; and
  4. if 1 January falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the following Monday and Tuesday; and
  5. if Waitangi Day or Anzac Day falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the following Monday.

Section 35(2) of the Interpretation Act 1999 – Time, is also relevant when counting the working days after a claim has been raised –

(2) A period of time described as beginning from or after a specified day, act or event does not include that day or the day of the act or event.


[1]   The Gender-Inclusive Job Evaluation Standard was prepared under the supervision of a committee established under the Standards Act 1988 comprising Business NZ, Council of Trade Unions (CTU), Department of Labour, District Health Boards NZ, Equal Employment Opportunities Trust (EEO Trust), Expertise Limited, Hay Group, Human Resources Institute of NZ (HRINZ), Human Rights Commission, Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Ministry of Health, the then State Services Commission, Strategic Pay Limited, Top Drawer Consultants, refer NZ Standard NZS 8007:2006. The Standard is available at:

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