campaign for
equal value
equal pay

advocating pay and employment equity for New Zealand women


The Campaign for Equal Value, Equal Pay...

is a voluntary organisation committed to reducing the gender pay gap in New Zealand through policy and initiatives to advance pay equity in general and equal pay for work of equal value in particular.

Our members' expertise and experience spans the breadth and history of this important policy issue. The purpose of this website is to provide background information for the current campaign and for the media.

CEVEP has campaigned for effective pay equity policy and legislation since 1986. Our activities include advocating to government and political parties, writing submissions and appearing before select committees, producing materials on pay equity for the public and the media, and organising tours of overseas experts to New Zealand.

In April 2013, CEVEP was invited to be an 'intervening' party to a pay equity test case taken under the Equal Pay Act 1972 by resthome caregiver Kristine Bartlett and the Service & Food Workers Union (now called E Tu).


NEW! Government is re-writing the
Equal Pay

On 24 November 2016 Cabinet accepted recommendations from its Joint Working Groupon Principles for Implementing Equal Pay.However, it added a supplementary principle: a requirement to work through a 'hierarchy of potential comparator' from within the same workplace or industry (rather than selecting clearly unbiased male dominated jobs and sectors). (See also CEVEP's General Principles for Pay Equity).

On 20 April 2017 the government released an 'exposure draft' of new Employment (Pay Equity & Equal Pay) bill. It is consulting on this until 11 May.

This draft bill raises the barriers for pay equity by requiring women to confront their employer rather than lodging a claim with the Employment Authority, get the boss's agreement that their claim has 'merit', then to bargain with him. It also limits help from mediation or Authority services, and removes women's right to backpay for pay equity only - surely discriminatory. Under this bill, equal pay for work of equal value would become something each woman has to bargain with her boss to get a bit of, rather than our right under international Conventions.

The current Act should only repealed if new legislation can deliver pay equity for women much better - not much worse.


Latest in Kristine Bartlett vs Terranova...


Caregivers finally offered equal pay settlement

The offer lifts care and support workers' pay to between $19 and $23.50 from 1 July 2017, rising to between $21.50 and $27 in July 2021.

This claim was first with the Employment Court in 2012, leading to judgments clarifying that Equal Pay Act did allow equal pay for work of equal value claims for women's and men's typically different work. The government, which funds most care work from our taxes, then set up and join in negotiations to settle the claim. We can expect to see this settlement covered by the Budget in May. See more about the settlement here.
See the whole story here

In February 2017 the NZCTU reported that, in advance of revised legislation, it is working with the State Services Commission to progress the PSA's claim for Child Youth & Family social workers and care and support workers, and NZEI's claim for education, behaviour and communication workers in schools. See more.


See more...

See Prue Hyman, The case for action now. NZ Herald, 9.2.16

Scoop Business, Pay Equity decision looms, 2.6.16

Linda Hill, Equal pay for equal value: The case for care workers. Women's Studies Journal 27(2) Dec. 2013

Dominion Post Editorial. A blueprint for justice for women in the workplace, 9,6,2016.


For other pay equity claims, see our 'What's happening' page...

Contact CEVEP at cevep@cevepnz.org.nz
or PO Box 12361, Wellington
Aotearoa New Zealand

www.cevepnz.org.nz 23.4.17

The Pay Equity Challenge...

Cevep is an active member of the
Pay Equity Challenge Coalition.

For the latest news on the Pay Equity Challenge, see the Coalition's website, blog and RSS feed.

The Pay Equity Challenge Coalition is a broad coalition of community, employer, union, and academic groups who are committed to putting pay equity issues back on the government's, and New Zealand's, agenda.

In 2012 the YWCA also began to campaign for pay equity, with a petition to Parliament and a coffee cart that charged men 10% more than women to reflect the gender difference in median hourly pay.
See more...


2015 gender pay gap

See the latest gender pay gap figures here and here


CEVEP urges the government...
  • To respect the courts' decision that pay equity assessments require male comparators from jobs and sectors that are clearly unaffected by gender bias; that is, male dominated jobs and sectors.
  • We recommend that job comparison be between the female job or job class and at least two comparators in different male jobs in two or more different male dominated sectors or industries.
  • Attach the Working Group's Principles for Implementing Equal Pay to the Act as a Schedule or Statement, without amending the text of the Act itself. The court cases demonstrate that the Act can work as is.
  • To ensure immediate funding to DHBs and rest homes to raise hourly pay for caregivers to $26 an hour. Evidence from the unions has shown this level of pay in a range of comparable male jobs.
  • To ensure the 2017 Budget earmarks funding to address pay equity claims before the courts (special education support workers, social workers, midwives...)
  • To proactively address its obligations as an Employer in all state sector pay negotiations, and for employment under contracts and subcontracts.
  • To resource a new or existing agency to support all parties in pay equity wage claims and negotiationsby providing expertise, tools, resources, information, etc.
  • To amend the Employment Relations Act to require full transparency of pay and other remuneration, and invalidate confidentiality clauses in employment contracts.
  • To consider how the government can better address its international obligations to ensure equal pay and equal pay for work of equal value in private sector employment, and to strengthen equal employment opportunity policies and their effectiveness in all sectors.

Equal pay
means that men and women doing the same job get the same pay rate.

Equal pay for work of equal value
means that men and women get the pay rate for different jobs that require a similar overall level of skills, years of training, responsibility, effort and working conditions.
Equal pay for work of equal value is an policy principle in international conventions ratified by New Zealand.