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Parliament to debate equal pay bill

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/03/2017

Parliament is going to debate a bill drafted by Green Party MP Jan Logie that would force employers to publish their pay rates for men and women doing the same jobs.

It's one of three opposition members' bills drawn from parliament's ballot on Thursday.

Ms Logie says that, on average, women currently earn 13 per cent less per hour than men.

"At the moment, women only find out by accident, if at all, that they're being paid less than a male colleague," she said.

"I am so pleased that women's pay is going to be on the agenda. There's a real choice that all MPs will have to make about this bill - whether they want the gender pay imbalance to be a relic of the past, or for it to continue to affect Kiwi women every single working day for decades to come."

The Public Service Association believes it's crucial legislation that builds on a requirement that employers must already collect statistical pay information.

"This bill would impose virtually no added cost on employers, but will make it much easier for employees to raise a claim for equal pay if they believe they're subject to discrimination," national secretary Erin Polaczuk said.

The second bill, drafted by Labour's David Parker, would allow the Ombudsmen to set guidelines for recovering the cost of their investigations from the agencies being investigated.

The third bill, drafted by Labour MP Ruth Dyson, would enhance the protection of World Heritage Sites from prospecting and mining.

The bills will come up for their first readings but they're not likely to get any further without government support, which is unlikely.

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