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Source: Human Rights Commission

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo briefed the Education and Workforce Committee on why pay transparency was absolutely necessary to close our ethnic and gender pay gaps.

Research by the Human Rights Commission has found almost one-in-every two New Zealanders reported that, during their working careers, they have been paid less than someone else doing the same job.  

“Pay transparency will allow salary and wage scales to be publicly available and can put an end to gender, ethnic and disability pay gaps across the workforce,” said Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo.

“There is a silent outrage about the ethnic pay gap. Where are the targets? We need to see plans, we need milestones, we need the Government to step up! At a minimum, we must include ethnic pay gap reporting alongside gender pay gap reporting.”

The Commissioner is leading the Pacific Pay Gap inquiry which hopes to recommend solutions to address the persistent pay gap, racial discrimination, and lack of equal employment opportunities that Pacific Peoples face.

Findings and recommendations from the inquiry will be useful to addressing pay inequity and unequal employment opportunities faced by other minority ethnic groups and will have broad application across industries.

“I want to thank the unions, women’s groups, community activists and every organisation that has joined our efforts and have been part of our campaign calling for pay transparency.”

“Now more than ever pay transparency legislation is urgently needed. We can’t have fair pay agreements that address gender and ethnicity pay gaps without transparency about pay and progression.”

“Without legislation, milestones would not be achieved. Legislation needs to be specific and clear. There need to be consequences. If violations continue, there need to be consequences to incentivise people to do better.”

“We need to make pay transparent if we want people to stand up for themselves. If we want to equip and empower our vulnerable workers, pay transparency is a start.”

You can watch the EEO Commissioner’s presentation here.