NZ backtracks on gender pay gap

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Despite increased awareness from a growing number of employers, it seems New Zealand is actually backtracking on the gender pay gap with statistics showing wage disparity is at an eight-year high.

According to the latest Labour Market income figures from Statistics NZ, the pay gap is now sitting at 12 per cent – a figure which hasn’t been seen since 2008.

Minister for Women Louise Upston said the increase was disappointing – especially considering the gap had reached an all-time low of 9.1 per cent in 2012 – and called on employers to take action.

“Closing the gender pay gap requires making conscious, measured and reported efforts to tackle pay differences between men and women,” she said.

However, the Public Service Association has released a statement urging the government to get involved.

"The minister for Women, Louise Upston, says the equal pay issue needs ‘conscious, measured and reported efforts’," said assistant national secretary Kerry Davies. “We agree, and we urge the government to walk the talk - by agreeing to fully implement the Joint Working Group’s recommendations.

"If government officials, employers and unions can agree on a workable way to deliver equal pay, then Cabinet should not drag its feet,” continued Davies. “New Zealand women are worth 100% - and we call on the government to reverse this dangerous trend.”

The average New Zealand man makes $4.09 more per hour than the average woman – a disparity which translates to around $163.60 over a working week.

“That’s $163.60 that a woman can’t use to feed her family and save for her retirement,” noted Davies.

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