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Pay equity recommendations welcomed

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/06/2016

It upheld a 2013 Employment Court ruling that in female-dominated occupations the Equal Pay Act 1972 required equal pay for work of equal value. © Press Association It upheld a 2013 Employment Court ruling that in female-dominated occupations the Equal Pay Act 1972 required equal pay for work of equal value. Pay equity advocates have welcomed recommendations from a working group set up to address a landmark Court of Appeal ruling.

In a report released on Tuesday, the group urged the government to introduce a set of principles to guide firms on paying their staff fairly.

The Wellington Pay Equity Coalition said it was delighted.

"The next steps now are up to the government," said spokeswoman Angela McLeod.

"We urge them to do their bit quickly. Women should not be discriminated against in this way any longer."

The Nurses Organisation said it was pleased to hear a pathway to equal pay had been set out and the government was going to consider it.

"Women must be paid the same as men for work of equal value," it said in a statement.

"People who work in occupations that have been traditionally considered `women's work' have been underpaid for decades."

The government set up the group in response to a Court of Appeal ruling in the case of aged care worker Kristine Bartlett.

It upheld a 2013 Employment Court ruling that in female-dominated occupations the Equal Pay Act 1972 required equal pay for work of equal value.

That was a change from the way the law had been interpreted in the past.

The group was made up of incoming Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, Council of Trade Unions head Richard Wagstaff, former BusinessNZ chief executive Phil O'Reilly and public servants Paul Stocks and Lewis Holden.

In January, a State Services Commission report revealed that in the public service women were being paid on average 14 per cent less than men.

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