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 Specialist Customer Support Work 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 specific roles within the Accident Compensation Corporation, Inland Revenue Department and Ministry of Social Development. These roles are performed predominately by women and may be undervalued due to sex.
The 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 pay equity. The process to complete this claim is evidenced based, and this will take time to work through.
What is the pay equity process?
The pay equity claim process consists of three main components:
- Raising a claim– which includes a claim being raised and the work described, the employer forming a view on arguability, and notifying affected employees and relevant unions.
- Assessing the claim– which includes assessing the work of the claimants, identifying comparators, assessing the work of the comparators, comparing the work and remuneration of the claimant and comparators, compiling the work and remuneration assessment and comparison, and drawing conclusions on undervaluation.
- Settling the claim– which includes negotiating and concluding the pay equity claim, including implementation and process for reviewing and maintaining pay equity.
What’s happening now?
The parties have commenced the Work Assessment phase. The work assessment phase involves assessing the work of claimants and comparators. This helps us to determine whether the work covered by the claim, which has been predominantly performed by women, has been undervalued.
Currently unions and employers are jointly conducting claimant interviews to better the type of work being performed across ACC, Inland Revenue and Ministry of Social Development. A sample of roles have been selected to ensure a balanced view of the work is collected.
A sample of employees and their supervisors have been asked to participate in this important step. If you are offered an interview, we encourage you to agree. When you accept an invitation to be interviewed you will receive an invite and information about how to find out more prior to your interview taking place.
The interview covers a range of things such as the skills, responsibilities, conditions of work and the degree of effort involved in the work of the claimants, such as their understanding of Te Ao Māori at work.
Part of the work of the assessment phase of the claim is to identify potential male dominated comparator roles for assessment. The assessment of these roles follows a similar process of interviewing and gathering information so that later that information can be used to determine any undervaluation of the claimant roles.
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