The Equal Pay Act 1972 prohibits discrimination in pay on the basis of sex. Pay equity means that even if 2 jobs are very different, if they require the same or similar levels of skill, responsibility, experience and effort, they should be paid the same. 

Our legislation is unique because it allows for the comparison of male- and female-dominated workforces from different organisations and across different sectors. The Act was updated in 2020 to provide a clear process to test whether female-dominated occupations are free from sex-based undervaluation. This process encourages parties to work together and use evidence-based decision making to address pay inequity, rather than relying on the courts.

Te hira o te utu ōriteWhy pay equity is important

Ensuring people’s pay reflects their skills, responsibilities, effort and working conditions, and is free from gender-based discrimination is about fundamental human rights. 

By raising a pay equity claim, a conversation is started about the value of work. The pay equity process expands on this conversation and gives employees the tools to reach pay that better reflects their level of skill, responsibility, experience, and effort.  

Pay equity settlement benefits not just individual workers but provides more money in the pocket of individuals to better support themselves, their families and their community.  

What is pay equity?

What is pay equity? Transcript

[Visual] The question ‘What is Pay Equity’ appears on the screen. The screen changes to 2 large boxes.

[Audio] In Aotearoa New Zealand, our laws ensure that rates of pay cannot discriminate on the basis of sex.

[Visual] Three coins drop into the left-hand box, and 2 coins drop into the right-hand box. A man’s face appears under the coins in the left-hand box, and a woman’s face appears under the coins in the right-hand box.

[Audio] Yet we still have unacceptable levels of gender inequity,

[Visual] Four more coins drop into the man’s pile of money, and 3 dollar signs float above it. One dollar sign floats about the woman’s pile of money and 2 more coins drop into her pile.

[Audio] including a gender pay gap and large numbers of women working in low paid occupations.

[Visual] The woman’s box shrinks until it is a circle around her face. The screen then zooms in on her face. Around her face appear 6 icons: a hairdryer and hairbrush, a bottle of cleaning liquid and rubber gloves, a computer monitor and mouse, dirty plates and a cup, a baby bottle and dummy, and 2 arms and a heart.

[Audio] While we've made progress, many people still believe that female dominated occupations require less skill

[Visual] The screen changes colour and the woman’s face disappears. The 6 icons move to the left side of the screen.

[Audio] than male dominated ones.

[Visual] The screen splits in half. The right half changes colour and 6 different icons appear opposite the original 6: a truck, a hammer, a cow, a TV, a chemistry flask and a police cap.

[Audio] Pay equity is not only an important issue for women,

[Visual] The screen changes. A woman’s face in a circle appears in the middle of the screen.

[Audio] but for everyone who wants all people to be paid fairly for the value of the work they do.

[Visual] The screen zooms out and 5 male and female faces appear in circles and rotate around the woman. The faces float offscreen.

[Audio] That's why it's important to know what pay equity is and where you can find more information about it.

[Visual] A magnifying glass moves to the centre of the screen and focuses on the words ‘Pay equity’. The words are magnified until they take up most of the magnifying glass. The magnifying glass and the words disappear.

[Audio] Let's start by defining some of the language used to describe pay equity.

[Visual] ‘Pay parity’, ‘Equal pay’ and ‘Pay equity’ appear on screen. ‘Equal pay’ and ‘Pay equity’ disappear.

[Audio] Pay parity is about aligning the pay for people who do the same job,

[Visual] Under ‘Pay parity’ 2 faces appear in different coloured circles. Both circles have a dollar bill attached by a line underneath. Under each face are 3 dollar signs inside a dollar note-shaped box. A line appears between the 2 faces and ‘same job’ appears under that line.

[Audio] but who work for different employers, organisations or in different workplaces.

[Visual] Above the faces appear 2 signs. Each says ‘Organisation’ but they are different colours, to match the 2 faces.

[Audio] Equal pay means that people who are employed by the same organisation and who do the same job

[Visual] The words ‘Pay parity’ disappear and are replaced by ‘Equal pay’. The dollar bills under the 2 faces disappear. One of the organisation signs disappears and the remaining sign moves so it is still above but now in between the 2 faces. Lines link the sign to both faces. The left-hand face changes to a different person’s face.

[Audio] with the same or similar level of experience get paid the same.

[Visual] Lines appear under each face and move towards the middle of the screen until they meet and a dollar bill with 3 dollar signs inside appears at the middle point.

[Audio] Pay equity recognises that it is possible for 2 jobs

[Visual] ‘Equal pay’ disappears and is replaced by ‘Pay equity’. Only the 2 faces are left on the screen, linked by a line between them.

[Audio] to look very different,

[Visual]The faces in the circles disappear. A bottle of cleaning liquid and rubber gloves appear in the left-hand circle. A hammer and nail appear in the right-hand circle.

[Audio] but require the same level or similar level of skills, responsibilities, experience and effort from employees.

[Visual] A line is drawn down, between the line that links the 2 circles, making a seesaw. The 2 circles begin to move up and down.

[Audio] And therefore should be paid similarly.

[Visual] A dollar note with 3 dollar signs in it appears at the bottom the downward line.

[Audio] The Equal Pay Act 1972 makes it clear that equal pay and pay equity are legal requirements.

[Visual]The screen changes to a legal document with ‘Equal Pay Act 1972’ written on the front page, with a set of scales above it.

[Audio] The act was updated in 2020 to provide a clear pay equity process

[Visual] The year 1972 is replaced by 2020.

[Audio] to test whether female dominated occupations are free from sex based undervaluation.

[Visual] The legal document opens to 3 pages. The first page stays the same, the second page is headed with ‘Fairly paid?’ with 4 checkboxes and lines to represent text underneath. The third page has 5 checkboxes and lines to represent text underneath.

[Audio] This framework will help us ensure everyone is paid fully and fairly for the value of the work they do.

[Visual] The check boxes on the second page and third page are ticked, one by one. The pages start to merge into one document before disappearing from the screen.

[Audio] The process of raising a claim is simple.

[Visual] ‘Raising a claim’ appears on the screen. A face in a circle appears underneath.

[Audio] Anyone can raise a claim or ask the union to raise a claim for them.

[Visual] The face in the circle raises a hand. The circle moves to the left and another circle appears on the right with 4 right-handed arms placed inside it to form a square.

[Audio] Pay equity is an important step

[Visual] The screen changes to 2 faces in circles, one on either side of the screen.

[Audio] in Aotearoa New Zealand’s

[Visual] ‘Fairness for all workers’ appears above the 2 faces.

[Audio] journey towards fairness for all workers.

[Visual] The words disappear and more faces in circles appear on the screen, filling it up.

[Audio] Let's make our workplaces fairer together.

[Visual] The screen zooms out, showing more faces in circles.

[Audio] If you'd like more information about the pay equity process, you can talk to your union

[Visual] The screen with all the faces disappears and is replaced by a blank screen. A circle appears in the centre with 4 right-handed arms placed inside it to form a square.

[Audio] If you're not sure what union covers you or your workplace,

[Visual] A website search engine box with magnifying glass appears under the circle.

[Audio] go to Find Your Union NZCTU.

[Visual] The words ‘Find your union — NZCTU’ are typed into the search engine box. A smaller box appears underneath. Inside is the word ‘Search’. A large arrow ‘clicks’ search.

[Audio] You can also find information, videos, and guidance on our website.

[Visual] The screen changes. A large square takes up most of the screen. It looks like a webpage and has a scrolling option on the left-hand side. At the top of the square is typed ‘publicservice.govt.nz/our-work/pay-gaps-and-pay-equity/. Underneath the words, on the webpage are the statements ‘How we can help’ and ‘The Process’. A large arrow starts to move down the page to show more of the page.

The screen is replaced by another screen that reads ‘If you’d like more information please contact pay.equity@publicservice.govt.nz’

Me take kia whai tukanga utu ōriteWhy we need a pay equity process

Historically, women have been paid less than men. This is due to several factors including societal attitudes about the value of ‘women’s work’. In some occupations, the workforce has been dominated by women, and as a result wages have been low, and people employed in these industries have not always been paid fairly.

Pay equity challenges the fact that women in female-dominated industries tend to get paid less than men doing work of similar value in male-dominated industries. Pay equity is about making sure women and men get the same pay for doing jobs that are different but require the same or similar levels of skill, responsibility, experience, and effort.

The pay equity process provides a way for employees to test whether their work has been subject to sex-based undervaluation by raising a pay equity claim under the Equal Pay Act 1972.

A female nurse in blue scrubs leans over a baby in an incubator.

Te whakamārama i te tukanga utu ōrite Understanding the pay equity process

The Act sets out a clear process to raise, progress and resolve pay equity claims.  A critical part of the pay equity process is to assess and understand work in a gender-neutral way. This ensures work is understood and bias and assumptions are challenged.

The pay equity work assessment lets us look beyond what tasks someone does in their work to understand their skills, responsibilities, effort and working conditions. This assessment looks to uncover hidden, unrecognised or undervalued skills and ensures the work is properly valued.

Guidance: Pay equity assessment process(PDF, 1.7 MB)

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

Te whakaara kerēme utu ōriteRaising a pay equity claim 

Anyone can raise a pay equity claim but only for the work they are doing themselves. This is called an individual claim.

A union can raise a claim on behalf of a group of workers. In this situation, the union acts on behalf of all employees affected by the claim, whether they are union members or not.

  • For individuals: raising a claim

    To raise a pay equity claim as an individual, you: 

    • need to put in writing a brief description of the work you do and why you believe your job could be undervalued based on sex
    • must consider if:
      • the workforce is (right now) or has been (in the past) female dominated (the threshold is around 60%)
      • it is possible (arguable) that the work is or has been undervalued. The use of the word ‘arguable’ means you able to make a case for your claim and there is room to investigate it further. We encourage you to think about if the work you do needs skills that are traditionally seen as women’s work such as caring, listening and communicating.
    • need to send the written document to your employer (once you have this in writing).  

    By law your employer must respond to you within 5 working days to confirm they have received your claim. Your employer then has 45 working days to assess whether they believe your claim is arguable, and they must give you their decision in writing.

    Guidance: How to raise an individual pay equity claim(PDF, 153 KB)

    If you raise a pay equity claim with your employer they do not have the right to treat you differently or change the terms and conditions of your employment.

    Find your union

    If you are not sure what union covers your workplace, want information about your union or want to talk to your union about pay equity, use the New Zealand Council of Trade Union (NZCTU) tool to find your union and contact them.

    Find Your Union — NZCTU 

    If you would like to know more about the pay equity process, email us: pay.equity@publicservice.govt.nz

    Being supported through the process

    Even if you are not part of a union, you still have the right to be represented. This can be through a family member, a support person from your community, or even a lawyer. Your representative can help you write your claim and speak on your behalf throughout the process.

    You can also contact us if you have any questions: pay.equity@publicservice.govt.nz 

  • For employers: receiving a claim

    It is important to note that receiving a pay equity claim does not mean you are a bad employer or that you have done anything wrong. It is simply an employee exercising their right test whether their work is subject to sex-based undervaluation.

    If you receive a pay equity claim from an employee, there are steps you need to follow within a specific legislated timeframe.  You can use the pay equity working days calculator to help you work through this part of the process.

Te tātaitai rā mahi mō te kerēme utu taurite
Pay equity claim working days calculator

This calculator helps employers respond to a pay equity claim within the legislative timeframes set out in the Equal Pay Act 1972. These timeframes are measured in working days. Employers must provide written correspondence, notify parties and make decisions, and you have:

  • 5 working days to acknowledge receipt of the claim and to notify other unions (if there are any)​
  • 20 working days to notify affected employees
  • 45 working days to assess if it is arguable.

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:

  • a Saturday, a Sunday, Waitangi Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, the Sovereign’s birthday, and Labour Day; and
  • a day in the period commencing with 25 December in a year and ending with 2 January in the following year; and
  • if 1 January falls on a Friday, the following Monday; and
  • if 1 January falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the following Monday and Tuesday; and
  • 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. 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.

Section 35, Interpretation Act 1999 — New Zealand Legislation

Pay equity assessment process guide(PDF, 1.7 MB)

Use the calculator

Te aromatawai kerēme utu ōriteAssessing a pay equity claim 

The foundation of the pay equity claims process is for parties to work together to assess and resolve the claim in a constructive, efficient and effective manner.  

Guidance: Pay equity assessment process guide(PDF, 1.7 MB)

  • Pay equity bargaining process agreement template

    Pay equity in New Zealand is aligned with the existing employment relations framework. This means the pay equity process must be bargained in good faith consistent with the spirit and intent of the section 13C of the Equal Pay Act 1972.

    To achieve this, the Act requires parties to develop, agree and sign their own pay equity bargaining process agreement at the beginning of the pay equity process. This agreement establishes the good faith bargaining process that the parties will use to address the claim. It is the frame for the parties’ working relationship and outlines how they will assess work, communicate information, resolve conflicts and facilitate the resolution of a pay equity claim.

    Our template for the pay equity bargaining process agreement supports the parties to establish the good faith bargaining process they will use to address the pay equity claim. This template is intended for use by both parties after the employer has accepted that a pay equity claim is arguable.

    Template: Pay Equity Bargaining Process Agreement (PDF, 334 KB)

  • Work assessment

    A work assessment is a joint process to gather as much information about the work as possible, including worker interviews ​and other research​.

    A pay equity work assessment:

    • looks beyond the job description
    • examines the skills, responsibility, conditions and effort underneath any task
    • examines invisible/unrecgonised/undervalued skills
    • considers the work itself rather than the person in the role.

    It is a vital part of the pay equity process because it allows parties to understand whether the claimants’ work is undervalued. It requires building an understanding of the work of claimants and the work of appropriate potential comparators. Comparators come from occupations that require the same or similar levels of skills, responsibilities, effort and working conditions as the claimants’ work, but which are not subject to sex-based undervaluation.

    Any assessment method must be agreed between the parties, be gender neutral​ and fit for purpose.

    Taking part in pay equity work assessments

    Watch the videos below about conducting interviews or being interviewed for a pay equity work assessment.

    Te Orowaru

    Te Orowaru is a toolkit of resources to help you work through the pay equity work assessment process. It was developed by a working group of union and organisation pay equity practitioners, and a cultural review working group. The toolkit includes a glossary, a questionnaire in English and te reo Māori, the factor plan and the factor scoring booklet.

    Te Orowaru

     

  • Selecting potential comparators

    Selecting potential comparators is an important part of the pay equity process. Parties will need to look at different work that is free from sex-based undervaluation to understand if sex-based undervaluation exists for the claimant. Agreement on comparators is not required under the Equal Pay Act 1972. If parties disagree on comparators, we recommend assessing all the comparators suggested and allowing the work assessment process to determine comparability.

  • Comparing different work

    Identifying and assessing potential comparators is critical. ​Guidelines for selecting potential comparators include:​

    • work that is ‘same/similar​’
    • work that is ‘different’ but has the same/similar levels of skill, responsibility, conditions and effort​
    • any other useful or relevant comparator​.

    These guidelines are a unique feature of the Equal Pay Act 1972 and set us apart internationally​.

    Being a comparator

    Watch the video below about being a comparator.

     

  • Assessing terms and conditions

    The Equal Pay Act 1972 requires the assessment of terms and conditions of employment (other than remuneration). This process may identify some terms and conditions which contribute to sex-based undervaluation, for example, paid professional development.​

    If these issues are not addressed, a pay equity settlement may not be sustainable in the long term.  

    A woman is helping a child to read a book.

  • Assessing remuneration

    Assessing remuneration requires looking at all aspects of remuneration and carefully considering how these impact sex-based undervaluation over the course of a working life. Some key elements of remuneration are:​

    • base pay​
    • allowances​
    • bonuses​
    • superannuation​
    • leave​
    • pay system/progression​.

Pay equity process: Interviewers

Pay equity process: Interviewers Transcript

[Visual]

On a purple background, the words, ‘Pay Equity Process’ are in the middle of the screen. The word ‘Interviewers’ appears underneath those words.

[Visual]

A woman speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio]

Kia ora. Nau mai, haere mai. If you’re watching this video, chances are you’re considering being a pay equity interviewer. Tau kē. This important and rewarding role offers you a chance to contribute to our collective understanding of work and what it truly involves.

[Visual]

The woman is replaced by the purple background.

[Audio]

We're going to discuss what a pay equity work assessment is

[Visual]

The words, ‘What a pay equity work assessment is.’ appear on the screen.

[Audio]

why it's so important,

[Visual]

The words, ‘Why it’s important.’ appear on the screen.

[Audio]

and some key tips and advice to support you as an interviewer.

[Visual]

The words, ‘Key tips and advice.’ appear on the screen.

[Audio]

All too many of us have had the experience

[Visual]

A drawn street scene appears on screen.

[Audio]

of stepping into a new role

[Visual]

A hand holding an advertisement for ‘Part-time staff wanted for quiet café’ appears in front of the street scene. 

[Audio]

with certain expectations

[Visual]

The screen focuses on the job advertisement, which is then lowered and the screen zooms in on a café in the street scene.

[Audio]

based on the job description

[Visual]

The screen changes to a cartoon of an overworked woman holding a receipt in her mouth and carrying dirty dishes in one hand, and balancing 2 meals on the other arm.

[Audio]

only to discover there is very little connection between those expectations and the work itself.

[Visual]

As the woman walks through the café, customer hands appear and more dirty dishes land in the pile she is carrying. She looks unhappy.

[Audio]

A pay equity work assessment interview is a way to understand,

[Visual]

The cartoon woman walks into an office holding a job advertisement.

[Audio]

free from gender bias and assumptions,

[Visual]

The woman walks, the screen follows her into an office where she sits and is interviewed by another woman.

[Audio]

what work truly involves, by discussing it with those who do the work every day.

[Visual]

Rebecca Wilson, Programme Manager – Support Staff, Pay Equity Claims, Ministry of Education, speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio]

So I think there’s a number of things you can do to feel really prepared for a pay equity interview.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes and a box appears to the left of Rebecca’s head. In the box are the words, ‘Book a private and comfortable space’.

[Audio]

Make sure you have an appropriate space booked or know that there’s a private space you can use. Confidentiality is so important with these interviews,

[Visual]

The camera angle changes again and Rebecca speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio]

and having a private space is really key to making the interviewee feel like they can be as open as they’d like to be.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes and a box appears to the left of Rebecca’s head. In the box are the words, ‘Print out the support materials’.

[Audio]

Make sure you’ve printed the interview guide, if your team’s using consent forms, that you have a few copies of those, and also make sure that you take a spare pen and paper, just in case your laptop decides to give up.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes again and Rebecca speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio]

You’ll also need to make sure that any cultural requirements

[Visual]

The camera angle changes and a box appears to the left of Rebecca’s head. In the box are the words, ‘Understand any cultural requirements’.

[Audio]

are known about and that you’re prepared to implement them.

[Visual]

The screen changes and the woman who spoke at the start of the video talks directly to the camera again.

[Audio]

We know there is a gender and ethnic pay gap in Aotearoa New Zealand. This gap is generated by biased and unfair assumptions about what skills are important and what should be valued. 

We're often told that work mainly done by women is unskilled. We now realise that there is no such thing as unskilled work. All work involves skills, responsibility and effort.

[Visual]

Rebecca Wilson speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio]

So people can sometimes undervalue themselves with their answers, and I think it’s your job,

[Visual]

A box appears to the left of Rebecca’s head. In the box are the words, ‘Give non-leading prompts and examples’.

[Audio]

to provide that encouraging support, and if you think that they maybe need to expand on it, prompt them to expand on it. I can’t really emphasise the importance of examples enough with this, because often people don’t recognise themselves the skills they bring, the responsibilities they have and the demands and working conditions that are placed on them, but through the examples, later on when you come to analyse it, you can uncover all those things for them.

[Visual]

The screen changes and the woman who spoke at the start of the video talks directly to the camera again.

[Audio]

A pay equity work assessment looks beyond the lists of tasks in a role. This helps give us a thorough understanding of the skills, responsibility and effort that sit underneath these tasks so that work can be better understood, respected and properly valued.

[Visual]

The cartoon woman is cleaning a window, wearing gloves and holding a bottle of cleaning liquid in one hand.

[Audio]

For example, cleaning is offered considered unskilled or menial work.

[Visual]

The camera pans to the right to show the cartoon woman now mopping the floor.

[Audio]

It is an historically low paid occupation dominated by women.

[Visual]

The camera keeps moving to show the cartoon woman now cleaning a whiteboard.

[Audio]

Let's look at a few of the skills that sit underneath the daily tasks of a cleaner.

[Visual]

The cartoon woman faces the camera, with the outline of a window behind her. She is wearing gloves and holding 2 bottles of cleaning liquid. She twirls the 2 bottles of cleaning liquid and they become chemist’s flasks. Safety glasses appear on her face.

[Audio]

Math skills for dilution ratios.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show a piece of paper with ‘Tasks’ written on it, followed by tick boxes and lines representing the tasks to be achieved.

[Audio]

Knowledge of health and safety legislation.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show a piece of paper with ‘Health & Safety Legislation written on it, followed by lines representing the legislation.

[Audio]

Knowledge of disease transmission.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show the cartoon woman now using a feather duster to clean bookshelves. The screen changes to show her now in hooded overalls, mask and visor, wearing a backpack full of cleaning fluid and using a spray applicator to clean bookshelves.

[Audio]

Ability to operate cleaning machinery safely.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show the cartoon woman vacuuming an office. It changes again to show a different cartoon woman cleaning a glass door in an office as office workers walk past her.

[Audio]

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, you would have been hard pressed to find anyone who considered cleaning skilled work or even gave it a second thought.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show an icon representing a germ.

[Audio]

That all changed when cleaners became our first line of defence

[Visual]

The screen zooms out to show the cartoon woman who had been cleaning staring at the germ in surprise. An exclamation mark hangs in the air by her head.

[Audio]

against the spread of COVID-19.

[Visual]

Behind the woman stand 3 other people who are staring at the germ in concern.

[Audio]

Their skills and understanding of proper cleaning and disinfecting

[Visual]

The cleaner squirts cleaning liquid at the germ and it disappears.

[Audio]

was critical in the success of our battle against COVID.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show the cartoon woman holding a mop while wearing gloves and a mask. She lifts one hand to show she is holding a bottle of cleaning liquid.

[Audio]

Cleaners put themselves at risk for all of us.

[Visual]

The screen zooms out so we now see 3 women cleaners. They all wear gloves and masks. One holds a broom, one holds a mop and one holds a sponge while a bucket and towel are by her feet. The screen then changes and the original woman talks directly the camera again.

[Audio]

We don't want to have to wait for another major event to allow us to fairly see, respect and value work done in our country. A pay equity work assessment allows us to proactively identify what skills are being used in work and at what level these skills operate.

[Visual]

Rebecca Wilson talks directly to the camera.

[Audio]

People always wonder if they need to know a lot about the job before they actually go in and do the interview and actually I think it’s probably the opposite. Not knowing much about the role can help you to not bring in your own bias, it can prevent you from using any leading questions and it can also just make you naturally more inquisitive about the role.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes and a box appears to the left of Rebecca’s head. In the box are the words, ‘Keep an open mind’.

[Audio]

What we really need you to do is to leave all your assumptions and your pre-judgements at the door and leave it really open to the interviewee. If you are looking for more information you can refer to the non-leading prompts that are at the beginning of the interview guide.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes again and Rebecca speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio]

The one thing that I wish someone had told me before I went for my first interview is just to enjoy it. I remember feeling so nervous the first time, but I think if you go in feeling confident, prepared and really trusting the interview guide, and just see it as going in and enjoying a really interesting chat, then you’re going to get great results.

[Visual]

The original woman speaks directly to the camera again.

[Audio]

Pay equity is an important step in Aotearoa New Zealand's journey towards fairness for all workers. Let's make our workplaces fairer together.

[Visual]

The screen turns purple and the words, ‘If you’d like more information please contact pay.equity@publicservice.govt.nz’ appear.

[Audio]

If you'd like more information about what it means to be a pay equity interviewer, please contact the email on your screen.

[Visual]

The words, ‘Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa New Zealand Government’ and the logo appear.

Pay equity process: Interviewees

Pay equity process: Interviewees Transcript

[Visual]

On a purple background, the words, ‘Pay Equity Process’ are in the middle of the screen. The word ‘Interviewees’ appears underneath those words.

[Visual]

The screen changes and a woman speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio]

Kia ora and thank you to those of you who've agreed to be interviewed as part of a pay equity process. Tau kē.

Your knowledge of your own work is critical to help us ensure that it is properly understood and fairly valued.

Massive mihi you, on behalf of all workers for taking on this important role.

[Visual]

The woman is replaced by the purple background.

[Audio]

We're going to discuss what a pay equity work assessment is

[Visual]

The words, ‘What a pay equity work assessment is.’ appear on the screen.

[Audio]

Why it's so important.

[Visual]

The words, ‘Why it’s important.’ appear on the screen. 

[Audio]

And we will discuss some of the key questions or concerns that you may have.

[Visual]

The words, ‘Key tips and advice.’ appear on the screen.

[Audio]

All too many of us have had the experience

[Visual]

A drawn street scene appears on screen.

[Audio]

of stepping into a new role

[Visual]

A hand holding an advertisement for ‘Part-time staff wanted for quiet café’ appears in front of the street scene.

[Audio]

with certain expectation 

[Visual]

The screen focuses on the job advertisement, which is then lowered and the screen zooms in on a café in the street scene.

[Audio]

based on the job description

[Visual]

The screen changes to a cartoon of an overworked woman holding a receipt in her mouth and carrying dirty dishes in one hand, and balancing 2 meals on the other arm.

[Audio]

only to discover there is very little connection between those expectations and the work itself.

[Visual]

As the woman walks through the café, customer hands appear and more dirty dishes land in the pile she is carrying. She looks unhappy.

[Audio]

A pay equity work assessment interview is a way to understand 

[Visual]

The cartoon woman walks into an office holding a job advertisement.

[Audio]

free from gender bias and assumptions,

[Visual]

The woman walks, the screen follows her into an office where she sits and is interviewed by another woman.

[Audio]

what work truly involves by discussing it with those who do the work every day.

[Visual]

Amy Ross, Principal Advisor — Pay Equity, Gender Pay Taskforce, talks to the camera.

[Audio]

People often wonder, what will I be asked in a pay equity interview.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes and a box appears to the left of Amy’s head. In the box are the words, ‘You can access the questions prior to the interview’.

[Audio]

You will be sent beforehand either a summary of the questions you'll be asked or the questions in full, so you can have a really good idea of what this looks like.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes again and Amy speaks directly to the camera.

[Audio]

This interview should be conducted in your paid work time and if you have any uncertainty about this, do talk to the interviewer or your union representative before the interview commences.

[Visual]

The screen changes and the woman who spoke at the start of the video talks directly to the camera again. 

[Audio]

We know there is a gender and ethnic pay gap in Aotearoa New Zealand. This gap is generated by biased and unfair assumptions about what skills are important and what should be valued.

We're often told that work mainly done by women is unskilled. We now realise that there is no such thing as unskilled work. All work involves skills, responsibility and effort.

A pay equity work assessment looks beyond the lists of tasks in a role. This helps give us a thorough understanding of the skills, responsibility and effort that sit underneath these tasks so that work can be better understood, respected and properly valued.

 [Visual]

The cartoon woman is cleaning a window, wearing gloves and holding a bottle of cleaning liquid in one hand.

[Audio]

For example, cleaning is offered considered unskilled or menial work.

[Visual]

The camera pans to the right to show the cartoon woman now mopping the floor.

[Audio]

It is an historically low paid occupation dominated by women.

[Visual]

The camera keeps moving to show the cartoon woman now cleaning a whiteboard.

[Audio]

Let's look at a few of the skills that sit underneath the daily tasks of a cleaner.

[Visual]

The cartoon woman faces the camera, with the outline of a window behind her. She is wearing gloves and holding 2 bottles of cleaning liquid. She twirls the 2 bottles of cleaning liquid and they become chemist’s flasks. Safety glasses appear on her face.

[Audio]

Math skills for dilution ratios.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show a piece of paper with ‘Tasks’ written on it, followed by tick boxes and lines representing the tasks to be achieved.

[Audio]

Knowledge of health and safety legislation.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show a piece of paper with ‘Health & Safety Legislation written on it, followed by lines representing the legislation.

[Audio]

Knowledge of disease transmission.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show the cartoon woman now using a feather duster to clean bookshelves. The screen changes to show her now in hooded overalls, mask and visor, wearing a backpack full of cleaning fluid and using a spray applicator to clean bookshelves.

[Audio]

Ability to operate cleaning machinery safely.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show the cartoon woman vacuuming an office. It changes again to show a different cartoon woman cleaning a glass door in an office as office workers walk past her.

[Audio]

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, you would have been hard pressed to find anyone who considered cleaning skilled work or even gave it a second thought.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show an icon representing a germ.

[Audio]

That all changed when cleaners became our first line of defence

 

[Visual]

The screen zooms out to show the cartoon woman who had been cleaning staring at the germ in surprise. An exclamation mark hangs in the air by her head.

[Audio]

against the spread of COVID-19.

[Visual]

Behind the woman stand 3 other people who are staring at the germ in concern.

[Audio]

Their skills and understanding of proper cleaning and disinfecting

[Visual]

The cleaner squirts cleaning liquid at the germ and it disappears.

[Audio]

was critical in the success of our battle against COVID.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show the cartoon woman holding a mop while wearing gloves and a mask. She lifts one hand to show she is holding a bottle of cleaning liquid.

[Audio]

Cleaners put themselves at risk for all of us.

[Visual]

The screen zooms out so we now see 3 women cleaners. They all wear gloves and masks. One holds a broom, one holds a mop and one holds a sponge while a bucket and towel are by her feet. The screen then changes and the original woman talks directly the camera again.

[Audio]

We don't want to have to wait for another major event to allow us to fairly see, respect and value work done in our country. A pay equity work assessment allows us to proactively identify what skills are being used in work and at what level these skills operate.

[Visual]

Amy Ross talks directly to the camera.

[Audio]

You might be wondering, can my manager ask me later, “What did you say about your work?” The answer is they can't do that.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes, and a box appears to the left of Amy’s head. In the box are the words, ‘Everything you say is confidential and anonymous.’

[Audio]

What you say will be completely confidential. Anything that is shared will be anonymised, so you cannot be identified at any point in the process.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes and Amy speaks directly to the camera again.

[Audio]

Interview notes, transcripts and recordings may be entered into the data repository

[Visual]

The camera angle changes, and a box appears to the left of Amy’s head. In the box are the words, ‘Your answers will only be entered into the database at your consent.’

[Audio]

and may be accessed in an anonymised format by other pay equity claims. This will only be done if you consent and you'll be given all this information before entering the interview.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes and Amy speaks directly to the camera again.

[Audio]

Some people express concern that what they say in a work assessment interview may be used to review their own performance. This is not the case.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes, and a box appears to the left of Amy’s head. In the box are the words, ‘This is not a performance review.’

[Audio]

A pay equity work assessment interview is looking at the work that you do not your personal competence or ability in any shape or form.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes and Amy speaks directly to the camera again.

[Audio]

And sometimes at the first read you might not understand what is being asked of you and that's totally fine.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes, and a box appears to the left of Amy’s head. In the box are the words, ‘Feel free to ask for clarification.’

[Audio]

Make sure you're really clear with the interviewer, “I'm not sure what you're asking,” and they'll reframe it for you and put it in a way which makes sense to you and you can respond easily.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes and Amy speaks directly to the camera again.

[Audio]

And people often think, “What if I forget to say something that's actually really important to what I do?”.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes, and a box appears to the left of Amy’s head. In the box are the words, ‘You will have a chance to update your information.’

[Audio]

Don’t worry. You'll get a chance. The interviewer will make sure to leave contact details with you, which you can either email through information or phone someone and give them the additional information that’s critical to understanding your important work.

[Visual]

The camera angle changes and Amy speaks directly to the camera again.

[Audio]

It's really important for you to know you can’t get an answer wrong. You’re the expert in your work, not your manager, not your colleague.  You cannot get an answer wrong.

[Visual]

The original woman speaks directly to the camera again.

[Audio]

Pay equity is an important step in Aotearoa New Zealand's journey towards fairness for all workers. Let's make our workplaces fairer together.

[Visual]

The screen turns purple and the words, ‘If you’d like more information please contact pay.equity@publicservice.govt.nz’ appear.

[Audio]

If you'd like more information about what it means to be a pay equity interviewee, please contact the email on your screen.

[Visual]

The words, ‘Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa New Zealand Government’ and the logo appear.

Pay equity process: Comparators

Pay equity process: Comparators Transcript

[Visual]

On a purple background, the words ‘Pay Equity Process’ appear on screen. The word ‘Comparators’ appears underneath. 

[Audio]

Nau mai, haere mai.

[Visual]

A woman speaks to the camera.

[Audio]

Welcome and thank you to all of you who are considering being a comparator in a pay equity process. Being a comparator is a fantastic opportunity to be involved in making history here in Aotearoa New Zealand and show the rest of the world something special.

[Visual]

The woman is replaced by the purple background. ‘What it means to be a comparator.’ appears on the screen.

[Audio]

So let's talk about what it means to be a comparator.

[Visual]

‘Why would you want to be a comparator.’ appears on the screen.

[Audio]

Why would you want to be a comparator,

[Visual]

‘Who to contact.’ appears on the screen.

[Audio]

and who to get in touch with if you want to find out more.

[Visual]

The woman speaks to the camera again.

[Audio]

Our pay equity legislation is unique worldwide. The thing which makes it so unique is how we can choose and assess comparators.

[Visual]

On a lilac background, the words ‘Equal pay’ appear at the top of the screen. Two circles appear underneath, each with a face in it.

[Audio]

In most countries, you can only look at different jobs within the same organisation

[Visual]

The words ‘different jobs’ appears in between the 2 faces, and the word ‘Organisation’ appears in a box above the faces. Two lines come out of the Organisation box, each leading to one of the faces.

[Audio]

to identify sex-based undervaluation

[Visual]

The lines continue out from under the faces in circles, as a new box with 3 dollar signs in it appears underneath and between them. The lines meet at this box.

[Audio]

and assess if work is paid fairly.

[Visual]

The woman speaks to the camera again.

[Audio]

As usual, we Kiwis are thinking outside the box, doing things a bit differently

[Visual]

A screenshot of a news item appears. The heading reads, ‘Demand equity. New Zealand passes substantial bill to ensure pay equity between men and women’. The first sentence states, ‘Pay discrimination based on gender is something for the history books.’

[Audio]

and receiving international attention for it.

[Visual]

A New York Times opinion piece headline appears. It reads, ‘Women’s work’ can no longer be taken for granted’. The first sentence states, ‘New Zealand is pursuing a century-old idea to close the gender pay gap: not equal pay for equal work, but equal pay for work of equal value.’

[Audio]

The struggle to achieve pay equity

[Visual]

An old-fashioned poster appears, showing a set of scales with a man and woman in each of the scales’ bowls. They are shaking hands. Above them are the words, ‘Equal pay for equal work’. Below the scales are the words, ‘A lower rate for the same or similar work is … a threat for men workers … an injustice for women workers … a boon for employers.’

[Audio]

has been ongoing for over a hundred years

[Visual]

A cartoon appears on screen. It shows 2 women having a conversation. Both women are carrying heavy bags in their hands and other items under their arms and one has a baby strapped to her back. One says to the other, ‘Did you get that job?’. The other replies, ‘No — they said I’d never be able to lift the heavy weights …’

[Audio]

here in Aotearoa New Zealand,

[Visual]

An old-fashioned cartoon of 2 toddlers, one male and one female. Each is looking in their underwear. The caption reads, ‘Oh! That explains the difference in our pay.’

[Audio]

and we now have the tools we need to make serious progress

[Visual]

A photo fills the screen. It’s of a handwritten poster made for a protest. It reads, ‘Same value, same pay’

[Audio]

in ending this injustice.

[Visual]

The woman speaks to the camera again.

[Audio]

Being a comparator is making an active and real contribution to ensuring that your sisters,

daughters, nieces and whānau are fairly paid for the skills they bring to whatever job they do.

Those who have been a part of the comparator process often tell us how rewarding it is.

You get the unique opportunity to see your work in a new way and feel proud about your contribution into your community and organisation.

[Visual]

The screen changes colour and the 2 faces in circles appear again. The words ‘Comparable job’ appear above their heads. Two lines come out of the bottom of the circles, as a box with 3 dollar signs in it appears underneath and between them. The lines meet at this box.

[Audio]

To make sure comparable jobs get paid fairly

[Visual]

The circles with faces in them become smaller, as the lines and box disappear. To the left of one face appear 3 icons representing a truck, dirty dishes, a hammer and nails. To the right of the other face appear another 3 icons representing a chemist’s flask, 2 hands and a heart, and a hairdryer and brush.

[Audio]

we need to look at a range of occupations, understand the level of work they do

 

[Visual]

Dollar bills with 2 or 3 dollar signs in them appear under the 6 icons.

[Audio]

and their pay.

[Visual]

The woman speaks to the camera again.

[Audio]

Pay equity recognises

[Visual]

The screen changes to show a cartoon woman vacuuming an office

[Audio]

that it is possible for two jobs to look very different.

[Visual]

The screen changes to show the cartoon woman now using a jackhammer on the street

[Audio]

but despite their differences,

[Visual]

The screen changes to show the cartoon woman now using a feather duster to clean bookshelves

[Audio]

they may require a similar level

 

[Visual]

The screen changes to show the cartoon woman now in hooded overalls, mask and visor, wearing a backpack full of cleaning fluid and using a spray applicator to clean bookshelves.

[Audio]

of skills, responsibility

[Visual]

The screen changes to show the cartoon woman looking at the camera while holding 2 bottles of cleaning liquid. She smiles, spins the bottles, which become chemist’s flasks and a pair of safety glasses appear on her face.

[Audio]

and effort from employees.

[Visual]

The woman speaks to the camera again.

[Audio]

This is where our comparator workforces are so important.

The easiest way to understand what a comparator is to understand what the pay equity process is trying to achieve and where comparators fit in.

[Visual]

The screen changes to display a cartoon assessment sheet, with lines and boxes to tick.

[Audio]

A pay equity work assessment interview

[Visual]

The boxes are ticked one by one

[Audio]

uses a specifically designed questionnaire

[Visual]

The screen zooms out to show 3 pages with various tick boxes

[Audio]

to draw out all the skills,

[Visual]

Around the 3 pages, 12 icons appear including a hammer and nails, a bottle of cleaning liquid and rubber gloves, a baby bottle and pacifier, a police cap, a hairdryer and brush, a truck, a monitor and mouse, a TV, dirty dishes, a cow, a chemist’s flask, and a pair of hands with a heart.

[Audio]

responsibility, experience and effort required to do any given job, particularly things which may have gone long unnoticed, undervalued or underappreciated.

[Visual]

The cartoon woman walks into an office holding a job advertisement.

 

[Audio]

By first interviewing the worker or group of workers

 

[Visual]

The woman walks, the screen follows her into an office where she sits and is interviewed by another woman.

[Audio]

who have raised the claim, we can build a rich picture of the work they do and the skills they use.

[Visual]

The screen changes so that the woman being interviewed is now a man.

[Audio]

Then, because we're trying to understand sex-based undervaluation, we need to interview some male dominated occupations who may work at the same level of skills, responsibility

and effort as our claimant group.

[Visual]

The woman speaks to the camera again.

[Audio]

The word level is key here. The process does not ask, is the work the same, or even, is the work a bit similar, but are the skills, responsibility and effort comparable?

[Visual]

The screen becomes white and faces in circles appear.

[Audio]

Pay equity is an important step

[Visual]

The faces start to form the shape of Aotearoa New Zealand.

[Audio]

in Aotearoa New Zealand's journey towards fairness for all workers.

[Visual]

The words, ‘Fairness for all workers’ appears at the top of the screen, above the faces.

[Audio]

Let's make our workplaces fairer together. 

[Visual]

The camera zooms in on the faces.

[Audio]

If you want to find out more about being a comparator and what this means for your organisation, please contact the email address on your screen.

[Visual]

The background turns purple and the words, ‘If you’d like more information please contact pay.equity@publicservice.govt.nz

[Visual]

The words, ‘Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa New Zealand Government’ and the logo appear.

Te whakatau kerēme utu ōriteSettling a pay equity claim

Once all the assessment work is done parties to a claim will need to negotiate a pay equity settlement in good faith​. There may be a number of different ways to reach a pay equity settlement which are all true to the evidence and analysis undertaken.​

  • Settlement bargaining

    At the conclusion of the work and remuneration assessment and analysis parties will negotiate a settlement. This settlement must fully correct for any sex-based undervaluation and cannot reduce any existing terms and conditions of employment. Parties may have different ideas about the best way to structure a settlement, and the negotiation process will look to find agreement on how a settlement can be reached. There are also legislative requirements that must be met to ensure any pay equity settlement is legal and valid.

    Any pay equity settlement must:​

    • be agreed in writing​
    • agree that the settlement corrects sex-based undervaluation​
    • ensure that a process to review the settlement is agreed​
    • outline the method used to assess the claim and who the comparators were.​

    Template: Pay Equity Settlement Agreement(PDF, 343 KB)

  • Maintaining pay equity

    An important part of settling a pay equity claim is ensuring there is an agreed process to review and maintain pay equity. This is to ensure that rates of pay do not fall behind and that pay equity issues don’t re-emerge.

    Guidance: Reviewing and maintaining pay equity (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Te Orowaru

Te Orowaru is a toolkit of resources to help you work through the pay equity work assessment process. It includes a glossary, a questionnaire in English and te reo Māori, the factor plan and the factor scoring booklet.

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