What is pay equity?
Pay equity is about women and men receiving the same pay for doing jobs that are different but are of equal value. It recognises that while on the surface two jobs may look very different to each other, they require the same or similar degrees of skills, responsibility, conditions, experience and effort.
In some instances, workers in female dominated occupations have experienced undervaluation based on sex, perceptions and prejudices, which minimised their skills, responsibilities, conditions, experience and effort required by their work.
By comparing the work and pay of female dominated occupations with male dominated comparator occupations, pay equity ensures that workers in female dominated occupations receive pay that properly recognises the value of the work that they do.
In brief, pay equity is about correcting any undervaluation of female dominated workforces.
What is the PSA Public Service Administrative and Clerical Pay Equity Claim?
On 31 October 2019 the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) raised a pay equity claim on behalf of PSA members who perform “Clerical and Administrative” work. These roles are performed predominately by women and may be undervalued due to sex. This claim covers 41 public service agencies and a large number of roles.
The 41 Chief Executives consider that working through this claim is a high priority for their agencies and their employees in these roles. Following the signing of the Bargaining Process Agreement, required under the Equal Pay Amendment Act 2020 the Chief Executives and the PSA seek to resolve the claim as efficiently and effectively as possible. The pay equity process will be worked through jointly by chief executive representatives and the PSA.
The claim was lodged under the Equal Pay Act 1972, as amended by the Equal Pay Amendment Act 2020. The legislation aims to make it easier to raise a pay equity claim and encourages collaboration and evidence-based decision making to address any pay equity.
This claim is large and complex because it impacts a wide range of roles across many agencies. The process to complete the claim is evidenced-based, and it will take time to capture and analyse the information needed to assess the claim.
What is the pay equity process?
The pay equity process is designed to assess and correct any sex-based undervaluation of pay that is found. An outcome of the pay equity claim process is to determine through collaborative, evidence-based decision making whether the work has been undervalued due to sex. If sex-based undervaluation is determined, the parties will negotiate a fair correction to the pay for the affected roles.
The pay equity claim process consists of three main components:
- Raising a claim – which includes acceptance and notification to employees covered by the claim.
- Assessing the claim – which includes investigating the roles identified in the claim, investigating comparator roles and assessing and analysing the evidence.
- Settling the claim – If evidence shows a sex-based undervaluation the parties will negotiate a settlement to achieve pay equity.
What’s happening now?
Following Chief Executives agreeing the claim is arguable, a joint employer and union working group is now doing the work to prepare for the assessing phase.
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