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


There are three gender-neutral work assessment tools in New Zealand, all of which are consistent with the Equal Pay Act 1972 and use factor-based analysis. The above Pay Equity Work Assessment Process Guide provides background on the three tools, which include the Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission (Commission) Pay Equity Work Assessment Factor Plan, Equitable Job Evaluation (EJE) tool and the Pay Equity Aromatawai Mahi (PEAM) tool.

The Commission’s Pay Equity Work Assessment Factor Plan and Questionnaire links are above.

If you would like a copy of the EJE tool and Questionnaire contact us at

Equitable Job Evaluation (EJE) system

The EJE system is the gender-neutral job evaluation tool developed in New Zealand. It was developed by a project team comprising consultants from Watson Wyatt (later taken over by Mercer), Top Drawer Consultants, Pulse HR, a representative of the then State Services Commission and the Director and Senior Adviser from the Pay and Employment Equity Unit, Department of Labour, with the involvement of employers and unions in the pilot process. The EJE system was developed at the same time as, and was designed to be consistent with, the Gender-Inclusive Job Evaluation Standard (NZS 8007:2006)[1], which guides best practice gender-neutral job evaluation.

There are 12 factors within the EJE system, for example knowledge, problem-solving, emotional demands, working conditions, interpersonal skills. Each factor has different levels which help the user identify where a role best fits. In EJE the number of levels contained in each factor does vary, for example emotional demand has four levels while knowledge skills has 11 levels. This was designed to reflect that some factors require a broader range of levels in order to most accurately capture the position of the role being analysed. The number of levels does not reflect the importance of the factor overall.

There are factors or aspects of factors in the EJE system that are not commonly present in standard job evaluation systems and which represent overlooked, hidden or undervalued skills that are often part of female-dominated work. An example of this is present in the people leadership factor. In most traditional job evaluation systems whether or not someone has direct reports is the only element measured in the factor. With EJE people leadership factor also considers whether workers must lead without the authority to do so, therefore must be skilled influencers and consensus builders.

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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