The new government reaffirmed its commitment to making sure women are paid fairly for the work they do by moving quickly to scrap National’s flawed Equal Pay and Pay Equity Bill.
The Bill was introduced by National shortly before the election and would have put serious obstacles in the way of women making claims to achieve genuine equal pay. It also failed to fully incorporate the pay equity Principles a Joint Working Group of government, business and unions agreed last year
All three government parties opposed the Bill in the last Parliament and yesterday the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and the Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter confirmed it would be thrown out.
The announcement was welcomed by the Tertiary Education Union (TEU), who said it provided hope that genuine equal pay can be achieved under this government, including for all women working in tertiary education.
“We congratulate the government on taking action so promptly on their commitment to equal pay for work of equal value. National introduced the Bill knowing it would make it more difficult for women to achieve equal pay and ever since working people have been standing together to demand better,” Suzanne McNabb, the TEU’s national women’s officer, said.
The TEU cautioned that the decision to scrap the bill must not be seen as the end game.
“It was always a necessary first step for the new government to take in order to deliver on its commitment to genuine equal pay. However, there is still a lot of work to do. We look forward to supporting all three parties in making the changes required so women are valued equally in the workplace, and to using the networks we are part of to provide a strong independent voice supporting those changes, where possible,” McNabb added.