The Public Service is committed to addressing low pay and closing gender and ethnic pay gaps. This year the biggest increases in pay were for our lowest paid and frontline staff. The average pay of the lowest paid group (Pacific women and men) increased more than for any other group.
Increases for the lowest paid staff have primarily driven the 3.7% increase to public servants’ pay overall (compared with an increase of 3.9% in 2020). Less than 20% of the Public Service workforce now earn less than $60,000. Consistent with the Government’s Workforce Policy Statement and the Public Service Commissioner’s 2020 guidance on pay, the pay of our highest paid staff and occupations (including managers) moved only a little this year.
Since the Public Service Gender Pay Gap Action Plan was launched in 2018, good progress has also been made to close gender and ethnic pay gaps. The Public Service gender pay gap is lower than it’s ever been, at 8.6%. This represents a decrease of 3.6 percentage points over the period of the Action Plan, and the largest three-year drop since measurement began in 2000. By comparison, the national gender pay gap dropped by just 0.5 percentage points in the same period. Māori, Pacific, and Asian pay gaps have also dropped although there’s still a pressing need to accelerate progress for these groups. By launching Kia Toipoto, our new three-year Action Plan, we aim to make substantial progress toward eliminating all gender and ethnic pay gaps in the Public Service by 2024.