Reducing gender, Māori, Pacific and ethnic pay inequity is a government priority

Te Rōpū Mahi Rerekētanga Utu Ira Tangata me te Whakaōrite Utu Gender Pay Taskforce

20182020

The Action Plan helped reduce the Public Service gender pay gap from 12.2% in 2018 to 7.7% in 2022. This drop represents the most significant progress since measurement of the Public Service gender pay gap began in 2000. Pay equity claim settlements during 2018-21 contributed significantly to this drop in the gender pay gap. Over this time the proportion of women in leadership grew to over 50% for the first time. 

Reducing gender inequity is a government priority and Public Service chief executives and Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi Public Service Association (PSA) worked together to implement the 201820 Gender Pay Gap Action Plan to address the gender pay gap in the Public Service and make it easier for women to gain pay equity in their organisation or industry.

Eliminating the Public Service Gender Pay Gap Action Plan(PDF, 825 KB)

The Taskforce’s work was to coordinate and drive this work, supporting agencies to implement the Action Plan and progress pay equity. 

Between 2018-20 the Action Plan successfully reduced the Public Service gender pay gap from 12.2% in 2018 to 8.6% in 2021. This drop represents the most significant progress since measurement of the Public Service gender pay gap began in 2000. Pay equity claim settlements during the same period contributed significantly to this drop in the gender pay gap, and the proportion of women in leadership grew to over 50%, for the first time.  

This short clip talks about the Taskforce’s work with a focus on gender.

Transcript

[Visual] A woven pattern covers the screen, then the words ‘Impact: Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission and Ministry for Women’ appear. The woven pattern appears again then clears to an office scene.

[Audio] So the Taskforce was set up because

[Visual] Nine people are seated or walking to a seat around a table in an office. In the corner is a screen with a graph on it.

[Audio] the current rate we were going at

[Visual] Close up of a laptop and a pair of hands typing

[Audio] was going to take another 40 years to close the gender pay gap

[Visual] Alex Chadwick speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio] despite it being unlawful for 60 years

[Visual] One woman stands by the table, pointing at the graph on the screen. Three other women can be seen listening to her

[Audio] in the Public Service to pay men and women differently

[Visual] The camera cuts to Alex listening to another woman at the table speak. The woman is gesturing with her hands.

[Audio] for doing the same job. So the Taskforce was set up

[Visual] Close up of the ‘Eliminating the Public Service Gender Pay Gap 2018–2020 Action Plan’ document, and an A4 notebook filled with handwriting.

[Audio] to provide a comprehensive set of actions that focuses on 4 key areas.

[Visual] One woman at the office table talks while 2 other women listen. The camera cuts to another woman speaking from across the table, then back to 2 of the women – 1 is nodding her head in response.

[Audio] And the areas are equal pay, flexible work, reducing bias and discrimination in remuneration systems and policies, and achieving gender balance leadership.

[Visual] Alex Chadwick speaks directly the camera.

[Audio] The biggest achievement is that

[Visual] Alex sits at the table, in between 2 other women, listening to someone else speak.

[Audio] last year we saw the biggest drop in the gender pay gap

[Visual] The camera cuts to across the table to a woman who is smiling

[Audio] in over 17 years.

[Visual] The camera cuts to another woman at the table who is smiling and starting to laugh.

[Audio] Over 23,000 men and women

[Visual] The camera cuts to looking down the table, with one woman in focus, and 2 other women’s heads blurred,

[Audio] have received a pay equity settlement, which means that their pay

[Visual] Alex Chadwick speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio] has been increased up to 30%.

[Visual] Two of the women who were sitting at the table are now sitting in large chairs, talking in a corner of an office building, which looks out over a city. A small table is in between them, with a laptop and notebooks on top. 

[Audio] My manager sat me down

[Visual] The camera zooms in on one of the woman as she continues to talk, it then cuts to the documents she is holding.

[Audio] and she said I was receiving a pay correction. So that was a nice surprise.

[Visual] Bhavana Bhim, Corporate Communications Advisor, DIA, speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio] But it also made me take a step back and realise

[Visual] The camera cuts to one woman reading a document, it then cuts to the document, which is open to ‘The Gender Pay Picture’ diagram.

[Audio] that my career is valued and that I'm starting out on the right foot.

[Visual] The camera cuts back to the 2 women sitting in large chairs in the corner of the office, before cutting back to Bhavana Bhim.

[Audio] My work life and my home life would have been

[Visual] Peggy Koutsos, Diversity & Inclusion Programme Manager, MPI, speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio] incredibly different had the Taskforce not been able to help me.

[Visual] The camera cuts back to the 2 women sitting in large chairs in the corner of the office.

[Audio] I don't believe I would have the confidence

[Visual] Peggy Koutsos speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio] to be asking for the things I ask for,

[Visual] The camera cuts back to the 2 women sitting in the corner of the office, but the angle is now from over one woman’s shoulder to eventually focus just on one woman.

[Audio] so whether that's flexible working or whether it's having

[Visual] Peggy Koutsos speaks directly to the camera, which then cuts back to the 2 women sitting in the corner of the office.

[Audio] the confidence to discuss salary.

[Visual] The camera moves to focus on just one woman.

[Audio] We know that we have a long way to go.

[Visual] The camera is back at the table in the office, with one woman walking down its width to point at a large screen. The camera cuts to one woman’s face, as she nods her head.

[Audio] We're also really acutely aware of the compounding effect of

[Visual] The camera cuts back to the woman presenting

[Audio] ethnicity and gender on pay gaps

[Visual] Alex Chadwick speaks directly to the camera. The camera then cuts to 3 sets of hands at the table holding documents

[Audio] and so we want to do a lot more work

[Visual] The camera moves to the faces of 4 people at the table.

[Audio] to particularly improve the position for women.

[Visual] The camera moves to the other side of the table, with a man and a woman looking at documents, as the woman talks to the table.

[Audio] of different ethnic backgrounds.

[Visual] Alex Chadwick speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio] Being a young New Zealand Indian woman,

[Visual] The camera cuts to the view from over the presenter’s shoulder — there are 2 tables of people watching her. It then cuts to one woman who is smiling.

[Audio] it makes me feel really valued and proud that I'm starting out

[Visual] Bhavana Bhim speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio] that I'm starting out really well in the public sector

[Visual] The camera cuts to looking at the presenter from over the shoulders of the people at the second table.

[Audio] and that my journey from here is hopefully going to go

[Visual] The camera cuts back to the view over the presenter’s shoulder, looking at the 2 tables.

[Audio] up and propel and that

[Visual] Bhavana Bhim speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio] I'm going to be well supported

[Visual] The camera cuts to looking at the presenter from over the shoulders of the people at the second table, then back to the view from over the presenter’s shoulder as the people at the tables start to applaud.

[Audio] so it's been an amazing confidence boost for me.

[Visual] Bhavana Bhim speaks directly to the camera.

[Visual] A woven pattern moves across the screen to reveal the words ‘Diversity Awards 2020’.

This report provides information on the progress achieved under the 2018–20 Action Plan.

Final progress report: Eliminating the Public Service Gender Pay Gap 2018–2020 Action Plan, Nov 2021(PDF, 3.8 MB)

2021 and beyond 

The success of the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan led to the development of Kia Toipoto, which the Taskforce launched in 2021.  

Kia Toipoto — Public Service Pay Gaps Action Plan 2021–24 

In response to the Taskforce’s increasing work programmes, and the expanded role of our work, today there are 2 dedicated taskforces working alongside each other: the Equal Pay Taskforce and the Pay Equity Taskforce. 

  • The Equal Pay Taskforce’s focus is supporting the implementation of Kia Toipoto to close gender, Māori, Pacific and ethnic pay gaps.  
  • The Pay Equity Taskforce is a dedicated team responsible for developing and leading best practice guidance, support and advice on the pay equity process. 

The image is of 3 spherical shapes. The first shape is like a tear on its side, under the heading 2018-2020. Inside the tear are the words: Gender Pay Taskforce. GPG Action Plan, Pay Equity. The second and third spheres overlap in the middle, under the heading 2021 onwards. The second sphere has these words inside: Equal Pay Taskforce. Closing gender, Maori, Pacific and ethnic pay gaps. The third sphere contains the words: Pay Equity Taskforce. Developing and leading best practice guidance, support and advice on the Pay Equity process..

Te Rōpū Whakarite Utu Ira Tangata Equal Pay Taskforce

Understanding Kia Toipoto — Public Service Pay Gaps Action Plan 2021–24

Kia Toipoto is a comprehensive set of actions to help close gender, Māori, Pacific and ethnic pay gaps. Through Kia Toipoto, agencies and Crown entities can achieve the expectations in the Public Service Act 2020 and the Government Workforce Policy Statement 2021 for the Public Service to be a good employer, and close gender and ethnic pay gaps.  

Kia Toipoto has 3 goals, to:  

  • make substantial progress towards closing gender, Māori, Pacific, and ethnic pay gaps  
  • accelerate progress for wāhine Māori, Pacific women, and women from ethnic communities  
  • create fairer workplaces for all, including disabled people and members of rainbow communities.  

It also aligns with the Public Service Papa Pounamu priorities, which are designed to strengthen workplace diversity, inclusion and cultural competence. 

Kia Toipoto — Public Service Pay Gaps Action Plan 2021–2024

Papa Pounamu Public Service work programme

Te Whakapiri  

Kia Toipoto was developed by a union and agency working group, Te Whakapiri. 

The name Te Whakapiri comes from the saying “he ora te whakapiri, he mate te whakatakariri” or “there is strength in unity, defeat in anger”. It reflects the working group's commitment to unity through equality of opportunity and fair recognition. 

 

The Te Whakapiri working group members from left to right include Whaea Georgina Kerr, Tajinder Deep Kaur, Alex Chadwick, Desigin Thulkanam, Lisita Aloua, Isabella Sánchez Bolívar, Dawn Marshall Smith, Nardine Sleeman, Grace Millar, Jacqui Francis, Janice Panoho, Amanda Gotty, Jenny Nand and Stephanie Nichols. Absent from this photo are Sara O'Donnell, Kerry Davies, Marcia Puru, Dolly Larkins, Stella Teariki, Kirsten Windelov, Kimberley Polata-Ahotolu, Becks Moxon, Aroma Kim and Anna MacLean.

Te Whakapiri works alongside agencies and entities to help them put Kia Toipoto into action. This involves developing guidance and running workshops. 

Te Whakapiri members include Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission, Te Runanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina (the PSA Māori Network) Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi Public Service Association (PSA), Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women, Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, the Ministry for Ethnic Communities and representatives of rainbow, disabled and pan-Asian employee-led networks.  

Te Whakapiri helps to ensure that the voices and views of women, Māori, Pacific Peoples and people from ethnic groups, from Rainbow communities, and with disabilities, are at the centre of this work.  

Ohu Mahi Utu Ōrite Pay Equity Taskforce 

The Pay Equity Taskforce is a dedicated pay equity team that operates within Te Kawa Mataaho and is responsible for developing and leading best practice guidance, support and advice on the pay equity process.  

The Taskforce considers issues that have system-wide implications particularly when aspects of the legislation are being tested in court.  We also provide system guidance and advice to Minsters and to agencies, businesses and the community sector on pay equity claims and the pay equity process.  

We also provide educational webinars and workshops to increase the understanding of the pay equity in Aotearoa New Zealand.  

If you would like to know more about pay equity, the claims process or would like support from our team, contact us: pay.equity@publicservice.govt.nz  

Te whakatutuki i ngā utu ōriteAchieving pay equity 

Pay equity is about women and men receiving the same pay for doing jobs that are different, but require the same or similar levels of skill, responsibility, experience and effort. 

Pay equity

Find out more about the history of pay equity in New Zealand, by reading our guidance on the context and principles of pay equity in New Zealand. 

Guidance — Pay equity context and principles (PDF, 384 KB)

  • New Zealand Council of Trade Unions

    The Pay Equity Taskforce works together with the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) to progress pay equity across the system, including work on pay equity guidance, pay equity claims data repository (hosted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) and pay equity for the Funded Sector.  

    NZCTU — Te Kauae Kaimahi 

  • Pay equity process

    We have developed guidance to help employees and employers understand the steps involved when working through the pay equity process.

    Pay equity

  • Central Agencies Governance Group

    The Central Agencies Governance Group (CAGGis mandated by Cabinet to oversee pay equity claims via the Framework for the Governance and Oversight of State Sector Pay Equity Claims. 

    Framework for Governance and Oversight of State Sector pay equity claims (PDF, 2.4 MB)

    The CAGG provides advice to employers at 6 significant ‘milestones’ in the pay equity process so they can test the proposed methodology, strategy, and analysis of their claim process.

    Pay equity milestone questions(DOCX, 271 KB)

    It also provides assurance to Ministers making funding decisions that pay equity claim processes and any settlements are in line with the process set out in the Equal Pay Act 1972. Because the Government is not a party to pay equity claims, the CAGG provides ministers with visibility and assurance of the quality of the process that has been undertaken by the parties.  

    The CAGG is made up of members from Te Kawa Mataaho, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Treasury and is chaired by Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission. 

    If you would like more information on the CAGG, please get in touch pay.equity@publicservice.govt.nz 

  • Support for claims in the Funded Sector

    The Funded Sector refers to any private, non-government organisation or community-based organisation that receives taxpayer funds to deliver services on behalf of the government. It is made up of over 4,000 predominantly small to medium-sized service providers delivering health, education and social services. 

    To ensure that Funded Sector organisations can achieve pay equity, Te Kawa Mataaho designed the Framework for Oversight and Support of pay equity claims in the Funded Sector (the Funded Framework) 

    Framework for Oversight and Support of pay equity claims in the Funded Sector(PDF, 1.6 MB)

    The Funded Framework was amended in 2021 to address barriers faced by the Funded Sector in achieving pay equity. It sets out a process for how the benefits of settled claims can be extended more widely to employees in the Funded sector who do work that is the same or substantially similar.  

    The Funded Framework provides ministers making decisions about funding claims with assurance that: 

    • certain criteria have been met in order for the benefits of a settled claim to be considered for wider application in the funded sector 
    • the pay equity process does not undermine the Equal Pay Act 1972.  

    The Funded Framework offers a structured process so that work undertaken within a pay equity claim can be considered by those who may be doing the same or similar work in the wider community sector. This process is called validation and is led by the Pay Equity Taskforce. The Taskforce is responsible for providing advice to ministers to consider whether to extend the benefits of a pay equity settlement beyond the parties.  

    Contact us if you have questions about pay equity in the Funded Sector: pay.equity@publicservice.govt.nz  

  • Proactive Comparators Project

    A key part of the pay equity process is a gender-neutral assessment of both the claimant occupations and the potential comparator occupations.  A comparator is a person or group of people in a male-dominated occupation whose work may be very different in nature but is assessed to understand whether it may require the same or similar levels of skill, responsibility and effort.  

    Interviewing comparator workforces can be a time-consuming part of the pay equity process as every single claim needs to identify and interview potential comparator groups. Providing access to potential comparators who have already been interviewed makes the pay equity process quicker and more efficient.   

    The Pay Equity Taskforce is currently working with organisations to interview people in male-dominated roles within their workforce to build a repository of information that can be used for future claims. The information from the interviews is anonymised and stored securely. People participating find it rewarding as it enables them to reflect on the rich skills and effort they bring to their work. It also enables organisations and their workers to make a contribution to advancing pay equity across the economy.  

    If you or your workplace would like to be involved in this project, contact us for more information: pay.equity@publicservice.govt.nz 

  • Te Orowaru

    Te Orowaru is our pay equity work assessment tool which was developed by a working group of agency practitioners and unions, launched in November 2021. It’s the first tool to recognise the unique status of tangata whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand and value skills in te ao Māori as integral to fairly valuing work. The tool is being used in current pay equity claims and has generated a lot of interest, particularly from private sector organisations interested in using it for job evaluations.  

    The Pay Equity Taskforce regularly provides education and training on how to use the tool. Contact us for more information: pay.equity@publicservice.govt.nz 

    Te Orowaru 

  • Equal Pay Act 50

    In 2022, we’re celebrating the 50-year anniversary of New Zealand’s Equal Pay Act 1972 — EPA50. While the fight for equality in the workforce continues in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world, the Equal Pay Act 1972 law has been instrumental in paving the way for actions to achieve equal pay for men and women doing the same job — the legal right to equal pay for equal work.  To find out more and download our EPA50-branded graphics, visit EPA50 news story.

Te Orowaru toolkit, from left to right: the Factor Plan, Uiui te reo Māori Questionnaire, Glossary, Factor Scoring booklet, and the English version of the Questionnaire.

Kerēme utu ōrite a ngā kaimahi ratonga tūmatanuiPublic sector admin clerical pay equity claims

In October 2019 the Public Service Association raised a pay equity claim on behalf of members in administrative and clerical roles. The claim is large and complex and covers approximately 1,200 unique roles within 43 public sector organisations (employers).

Public sector admin clerical pay equity claims

Te tureThe law

The Equal Pay Act was first passed into law in New Zealand in 1972. This made it unlawful to pay women and men differently for doing the same job. It was common at the time for women to be paid a lot less than their male colleagues for doing exactly the same job.  While this law did not solve the gender pay gap, it was a big step forward. 

In 2013 this law was tested by Kristine Bartlett and her union E Tū. They argued that Kristine was underpaid, not in relation to her male colleagues, but because the work she did as a home support worker was mainly done by women, and therefore the whole workforce was undervalued.  

After a long court process the courts agreed with Kristine. The Equal Pay Act 1972 should provide protection for employees whose whole occupation may be undervalued based on gender. The historic care and support workers’ pay equity settlement, which increased pay for the whole home and disability support sector, was reached in 2017. 

In 2020 the Equal Pay Act 1972 was amended so that employees like Kristine would not have to go to court to prove they were undervalued. 

The Act now sets out a clear pay equity process to test whether work that’s predominantly done by women is free from sex-based undervaluation. 

The Act is unique because it allows us to compare work from different organisations and/or sectors. 

This legislation that relates to paying people fairly in New Zealand and underpins our work on pay gaps and pay equity: 

Pay gaps and pay equity

Everyone has the right to be paid fairly. Pay gaps can indicate that some groups are treated unequally in the labour market. It’s important that we remove bias and discrimination from our wages so that everyone is paid fairly for the job they do.

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