Women’s March Aotearoa New Zealand promotes women’s economic security as one of its key issues.
We believe in equal pay for equal work and the right of all women to be paid equitably.
We advocate for organisational transparency and accountability surrounding pay scales as many women, parents, women of colour, LBGTQI+ people continue to face pay discrimination.
We also advocate for the elimination of systemic barriers in the workplace in order to promote the advancement of all women.
Equal pay for equal and equitable work will help to lift women, whanau, and families out of poverty and enhance our economy.
Three attention points on Economic Security in the 2017 election:
• Equal pay– New Zealand’s average gender pay imbalance is now about 9% but even though that’s better than the 12% of the past decade it’s still not good enough. Much of that gap, according to research forthe Ministry for Women andMotu Economics, is due to unconscious bias. But there is little being done to counter this by our politicians. A members’ bill that would have made businesses report how much they pay their men and women employees has been defeated in Parliament. Jan Logie’s billwas voted down 60 votes to 59 after National, United Future and ACT failed to support it. By contrast the governments of Australia and the UK require businesses to report their gender pay gap.
• Pay equity – In 2017 the $2 billion pay equity settlement, a fight led by Kristine Bartlett and her union, has been the single biggest success for those fighting for pay equity between jobs women do and jobs men do. But the law changes proposed after that settlement, and tough negotiations to sort out how to deal with such claims in future, will put unnecessary road blocks in the way of women wanting to take similar claims in the future.. National, United Future and ACT MPs voted for the bill to proceed but all Labour, Greens, New Zealand First and Maori party MPs voted against the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill.
• Parental leave and flexible working – the research shows that making work flexible is one important key to creating a workforce where women and men are equal. And research shows ensuring both women and men have paid parental leave, even if these are of differing amounts of time, parenting is more accepted in the workplace and doesn’t become a deterrent to advancement.
Women’s March Aotearoa New Zealand needs your help to inspire more women to vote in the September 2017 general election with our #WhyIVote action.
The women of Aotearoa New Zealand have had the right to vote for almost 125 years, but during the 2014 general election only two thirds of those aged 18 to 29 voted.
We want to change that. Women deserve and need to make their voices heard.
Please help us inspire women to vote by telling us why #KateSentMe and #whyIvote.
Political Party Policies
Here’s where the different political parties (in alphabetical order) stand on issues related to violence against and protecting the safety of women.
ACT • Supports the Pay Equity Bill • Advocate that all welfare recipients of working age who are able to work either work full time, engage in full-time training, or undertake part-time work • Push for a life-time limit of five years for support under the Sole Parent Support programme, and a life-time limit of three years for support under the Jobseekers Benefit, with “income management” being applied to beneficiaries when those limits are reached • Extend income management to any parent who has additional children while on a benefit • Cut Working for Families and paid parental leave payments to upper income earners to better fund more effective, targeted programs for those truly in need of help.
Greens • Oppose National’s proposed Pay Equity Bill • Make public sector chief executives responsible for achieving pay equity for employees of core Government departments by 2020 • Would require statistics about pay rates for men and women to be published • Making the $220 per week Parental Tax Credit available to all families who don’t get paid parental leave. This ensures every baby born in New Zealand gets the same support and makes the system simpler • Extend sick leave to be a minimum of 10 days a year, so that parents and whanau have time to look after sick kids • Ensuring the OSCAR subsidy for after school and holiday programmes is available to all kids from low-income families • Give every newborn baby a Wahakura – Baby Pod, which includes a safe sleeping place as well as clothes, nappies and bedding.
Labour • Oppose the Pay Equity Bill, which Labour argues will make achieving pay equity harder, and draft a new law to support future claims • Extend Paid Parental Leave from 18 weeks to 26 weeks • Boost Working for Families to all those who currently receive it and extend it to 30,000 more families, in addition to the Working for Families changes announced in Budget 2017 • Introduce a Best Start payment to help families with costs in a child’s early years.
Maori Party • Oppose National’s proposed Pay Equity Bill and would re-write it.
National • Repeal previous legislation with the Pay Equity Bill, meaning employees would file pay equity claims directly with employers rather than negotiate through the courts, and prohibit employers from discriminating based on gender • Recommend ways for employers to close the gender pay gap • Would would extend paid parental leave to 22 weeks over the next two years. National would also change the rules to allow both parents to take some of the 22 weeks off at the same time.
• Oppose National’s proposed Pay Equity Bill, review all industrial relations law to ensure “fairness, flexibility, and neutrality”
TOP • Push for “radical transparency” around discrimination in workplaces and encourage “behaviour that recognises individual success”.
United Future • Extend paid parental leave to 56 weeks and allow 14 of the weeks to be transferred to a partner • Allow couples with dependent children to claim shared income for tax purposes.