Time for gender pay transparency
Amanda Reilly, Victoria University of Wellington
There is a fundamental inequality of bargaining power in employment relationships in New Zealand; generally employers know what each individual in the organisation is paid while their current and prospective employees do not.
This affects all employees but has particular implications for women. The gender pay gap currently stands at 9.3 percent.
Discrimination in employment against women is prohibited by New Zealand law2 but there is research which shows that discrimination is a contributor to
inequality between men and women.
Pay transparency is increasingly recognised as both effective4 and essential for the elimination of pay gaps. Indeed, the New Zealand government itself has recognised the need for pay
transparency. The Gender Pay Principles which the government recently agreed to following recommendations from the Gender Pay Principles Working Group, include Principle 2 which
Transparency and accessibility is essential to the sustainable elimination of gender pay gaps.
Yet, despite this apparent consensus, the government does not appear to be taking any active steps toward introducing comprehensive and universal pay transparency requirements.