Raising an individual pay equity claim

Learn how an individual pay equity claim can be raised or how to join a claim already raised by a union.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Education sector workforce
  • Principals and tumuaki
  • School boards
  • Employers

How to raise an individual claim

If you work in a school, you can raise a pay equity claim by writing to the Secretary for Education.

If you work for a private school or early learning centre you can raise a claim directly with your employer. For example, your centre manager.

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If a claim has already been raised by a union

If there is already a pay equity claim raised by a union that covers your work, you will need to opt out of that claim before you can lodge your own. Your claim will also need to be lodged before the final date of voting on the related proposed settlement.

What to include in your claim

A claim must state that the claim is a pay equity claim made under the Equal Pay Act 1972 and include:

  • your name and address
  • the date you made the claim
  • your occupation, role and a brief description of the work you carry out
  • a description of how your claim meets the requirements to be an arguable pay equity claim under section 13F of the Equal Pay Act 1972.

If you have someone representing you with the claim, you will also need to include their name and address.

Joining a union claim

If you have raised a pay equity claim against the Ministry or your school that is also currently underway with a union and has not been settled, you can choose to join the union pay equity claim instead by:

  • writing to your employer or the Ministry asking that your other claim is withdrawn, and
  • writing to the union asking to join their pay equity claim.

If settled, pay equity claims raised by a union will offer the benefits of the settlement to all 'affected employees' who opted out – that is, all people doing the same or similar work.

  • If you accept the benefits of any settlement, you cannot raise a pay equity claim.
  • If you decline the benefits of any settlement, you will keep your right to raise a pay equity claim.

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