The Green Party backs the unions and community groups and Human Rights Commission calling for an urgent change in legislation to make pay gap reporting mandatory.
“Women and people in our Māori, Pasifika and other ethnic communities should be paid more than they are right now. Requiring organisations to report on their gender and ethnic pay gaps will be an important tool to help make that happen,” says Jan Logie.
“Right now, incomes in Aotearoa are severely out of balance. The largest imbalance is with Pasifika women, who earn on average around a quarter of what Pākeha men get paid. For every dollar a Pākeha man earns, a Pākeha woman earns 89 cents.
“Inflation has pushed this income inequality to the forefront, but it has been a persistent issue for many decades. The rules set by successive governments have allowed far too many organisations to avoid equal pay for equal work.
“As a result, tens of thousands of women, Māori and Pasifika right across Aotearoa have less money for food, less money to pay the bills, and less money for their families. It is very clear that business as usual is not working.
“Changing the rules to make pay gap reporting compulsory would make a huge difference to people’s lives and analysis from overseas shows it could lift some people’s incomes by up to $35 per week.
“With a Green Party Minister for Women last term, the Government agreed to start work on legislation to introduce comprehensive pay gap reporting.
“At the time, the then Minister for Women and the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety wrote to the Council of Trade Unions and Business New Zealand confirming that the Government would progress work on pay transparency.
“But since 2020, very little has happened.
“Over the last two years, the Green Party in Parliament has been working through the Select Committee and questions to the Minister to push the Government to take action.
“Together with the unions and community groups that have signed today’s open letter, we will keep pushing for urgent action to lift people out of poverty and unlock what everyone needs to live a good life.
“With a strong Green voice in Government and in Parliament we can help build a future where everyone is paid equally for the work they do,” Jan Logie says.