Pay equity

Find out what pay equity is and links to further information about the pay equity process and claims in the education sector.

Level of compliance Main audience Other

Inform

  • Education workforce employees and employers
  • Principals and tumuaki
  • School boards

Pay equity claims are raised to ensure that people are paid equally for doing work of equal value.

What is pay equity?

Watch this short video to find out more about pay equity.

Video transcript

Visual

A green background unrolls itself across a white screen. White text appears: ‘What is Pay Equity?’ In the top right corner is a logo of three triangles above two parallel wavy lines over the words: ‘Ministry Of Education, Te Tāhuhu O Te Mātauranga’. The green background rolls itself up again, leaving the screen white. Two purple circles appear side by side, each containing a green cartoon figure. The circle on the right contains a male figure wearing a hat and a tool belt. They use a hammer on a wall. The female figure in the circle on the right has long hair and wears a skirt. They hold a book and stand in front of a board with ‘ABC’ written on it. One by one, symbols with text underneath them appear between the two circles: a dartboard with a dart in the bullseye above the word ‘Skills’; a checklist on a notepad above the word ‘Responsibilities’; a lightbulb beside a profile of a person’s head above the word ‘Experience’; and an image of a gauge with a needle pointing at an angle above the word ‘Effort’.

Audio

Pay equity recognises that on the surface two jobs may look very different. However, they actually require the same or similar skills, responsibilities, experience and effort of employees.

Visual

A green panel sweeps across the screen. Two new purple circles appear side by side. The one on the left shows a bearded male green figure driving a transport truck. The circle on the right shows a female green figure with curly hair working at a computer. Arrows appear around the circles. The arrow around the truck driver points up, and the arrow around the figure at the computer points down. The word ‘Value’ appears between the circles.

Audio

For some jobs, women’s wages have been lower than men’s because of perceptions and prejudices about the value of ‘women’s work’.

Visual

The arrows and the word ‘Value’ disappear. The two circles move closer together and a green figure eight winds its way around both circles. Equal piles of coins appear at the sides of both circles.

Audio

Comparing the work of female-dominated occupations with male-dominated occupations helps make sure that female workers receive pay that properly recognises the value of the work they do.

Visual

A green panel sweeps across the screen, leaving a white background. Purple text appears, reading ‘Pay Equity’, then an equals sign followed by the text ‘Pay Parity’. In a paler purple colour, a slash is drawn through the equals sign.

Audio

Pay equity sometimes gets confused with pay parity, but they aren’t the same thing.

Visual

The other text vanishes and the words ‘Pay Parity’ move to the top of the screen. Two purple circles appear side by side. A green male figure in the circle on the left wears a chef’s hat and apron. A chef’s hat and apron appears on the female green figure in the circle on the right. A smaller circle with a dollar sign inside it appears between the two larger circles and connects to them with thin purple lines.

Audio

Pay parity means the same pay for the same job, regardless of who your employer is or what sector you work in.

Visual

White text appears on a green background: ‘Process for assessing a Pay Equity Claim’. On a white background purple text reads: ‘Raising the claim’. A purple circle appears beside the text. A green hand holding a blank piece of paper appears inside the circle. The blank document slowly fills with thin lines and rectangles.

Audio

A claim can be raised by anybody working in the sector. However, usually a union will raise a claim on behalf of a workforce. For example, the administration support staff pay equity claim in schools.

Visual

A green circle with a tick inside it appears at the bottom of the document. The green hand and document are replaced inside the circle by a new document titled ‘Terms of Reference’. An animated green pen draws a looping signature at the bottom of the document.

Audio

Once the employer accepts that the pay equity claim is arguable, the parties then develop Terms of Reference and start the pay equity bargaining process.

Visual

A line extends from the bottom of the circle, and the screen appears to scroll down with it until it connects to a new empty circle beside purple text reading: ‘Investigating the claimant’s role’. An animated image appears inside the circle showing two green figures sitting at a table with steaming mugs and a pile of books. Dark green speech bubbles containing three dots appear and disappear next to the figures.

Audio

The Ministry and the union together select a random sample of the claimant workforce and talk to the employees and their supervisors to learn more about the work they are doing, including their skills, responsibilities, working conditions and the demands.

Visual

A line extends from the bottom of the circle, and the screen appears to scroll down with it until it connects to a new empty circle beside purple text reading: ‘Investigating comparator roles’. A male green figure with short hair and wearing a shirt and tie appears in the circle. They hold a briefcase in one hand and a pair of blank documents in the other. Under the purple text, three symbols appear over words: a dartboard over the word ‘Skills’; a bar graph over the word ‘Demands’; and a checklist on a notepad over the word ‘Responsibilities’.

Audio

A comparator is a person who is doing work that may be of a similar value but in a role that is mostly performed by men. We look at what skills, demands and responsibilities are needed for the comparator roles and look at their working conditions, including pay.

Visual

A line extends from the bottom of the circle, and the screen appears to scroll down with it until it connects to a new empty circle beside purple text reading: ‘Assessment of evidence’. An image of two documents appears in the circle, and an animated green magnifying glass passes over them.

Audio

The work and remuneration of both claimants and comparators is analysed and assessed. The purpose of this assessment is to find out whether the claimant is being paid less than the comparator because of their gender.

Visual

A line extends from the bottom of the circle, and the screen appears to scroll down with it until it connects to a new empty circle beside purple text reading: ‘Settlement’. An image of a document appears inside the circle. A red X inside a small red circle appears in the corner of the document.

Audio

If the assessment finds there is no gender-based discrimination, the claim is denied.

Visual

The red X is replaced by a green tick that radiates with a sunburst of lines. The image of the document is replaced with an image of two green shaking hands.

Audio

If it finds there is gender-based undervaluation, the parties will negotiate a settlement.

Visual

A purple circle appears in the centre of a white background. Inside the circle is a set of animated scales of justice that tip up and down as they try to balance.

Audio

There is a lot of work that goes into investigating a pay equity claim to make sure the outcome is fair.

Visual

White text on a green background reads: Contact school.payequity@education.govt.nz. Panels in different shades of green swoop past, leaving behind a black background.

Audio

If you have any questions about a pay equity claim, you can contact the Ministry of Education at school.payequity@education.govt.nz.


 

Pay equity acknowledges the value of the skills, responsibilities and demands of workers in female-dominated occupations that have suffered from gender-based discrimination because of perceptions and prejudices about the value of “women’s work”.

The Government is committed to removing and preventing gender-based discrimination in the remuneration and employment terms and conditions for work done within female-dominated jobs.

Achieving pay equity and putting more money in the hands of the lowest paid workers has a significant positive impact on their lives and is likely to have flow-on benefits to their whānau and the wider community.

Pay equity sometimes gets confused with pay parity, but they aren’t the same thing. Pay parity means the same pay for the same job, regardless of who your employer is or what sector you work in.

Pay equity claims in the education sector

Find out more about pay equity claims either recently raised, underway, or settled in the education sector(external link) 

About the pay equity process

Information to help you understand the pay equity claim process

Changes to the Equal Pay Act 1972

In July 2020, Parliament passed the Equal Pay Amendment Act (EPAA), which introduces several new requirements for how pay equity claims are progressed.

These changes came into force on 6 November 2020. 

Find out more about the changes and how they may affect you

More information

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment: An introduction to pay equity(external link)

The following resources about pay equity can be found on Te Kawa Mataaho – the Public Service Commission's website:

Raising a claim

Pay Equity in New Zealand Context and Principles(external link) (384 KB | PDF)

Glossary of Terms used in Pay Equity(external link) (645 KB | PDF)

Assessing a claim

Pay Equity Bargaining Process Agreement(external link) (Terms of Reference) (347 KB | PDF)

Pay Equity Work Assessment – Process Guide(external link) (761 KB | PDF)

Pay Equity Work Assessment – Factor Plan(external link) (571 KB | PDF)

Pay Equity Work Assessment – Questionnaire(external link) (540 KB | PDF)

Pay Equity Claimant and Comparator – Process Guide(external link) (535 KB | PDF)

Pay Equity Settlement Agreement(external link) (343 kB | PDF)

Disclaimer

The information on our pay equity webpages has no statutory or regulatory effect and is of an information and guidance nature only. Guidance cannot override the law and is not legally binding. Users of this guidance should not substitute this for legal advice. The information should not be relied upon as a substitute for the wording of the Equal Pay Act 1972.

While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this publication is accurate, the Ministry of Education does not accept any responsibility or liability for error of fact, omission, interpretation or opinion that may be present, nor for the consequences of any decisions based on this information.

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