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Pay Equality and Pay Equity Claims

Published 10 May 2017

The Government claims The Draft Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill promotes the enduring settlement of pay equity claims through a bargaining framework and re-enacts, in an up-to-date and accessible form, the provisions of the Equal Pay Act 1972 relating to claims for equal pay and unlawful discrimination.
Broadly the framework for the settlement of pay equity claims involves the following features:

  • Any employee may raise a pay equity claim with their employer.

Upon receiving a claim, the employer must assess and determine the merit of the claim based on factors set out in the Bill.

  • the work calls for the same or substantially the same skills, degrees of skill, effort, experience, and responsibility from employees of any gender; and
  • the conditions under which the work is to be performed are the same or substantially the same for employees of any gender.
  • The employer’s decision to refuse a claim can be challenged.
  • If the employer accepts that the claim has merit as a pay equity claim, the parties must enter into pay equity bargaining:
  • Bargaining is guided by principles on how the work is assessed in pay equity bargaining. This involves an assessment of the work and the work of suitable comparator occupations.
  • The parties may agree to a bargained outcome at any point.
  • Where bargaining reaches an impasse, the parties may access mediation or facilitation or determination by the Employment Relations Authority.