An open letter addressed to the government by a group of 40 unions, charities, and community groups led by MindTheGapNZ demanded a change in legislation to make reporting pay gaps for businesses with more than 50 employees mandatory.
"Many women and people in our Māori, Pasifika, and other ethnic communities earn much less than they would if they were a Pākehā man. That's not fair. It's not the Kiwi way. The playing field is tilted against too many," the open letter read as reported by NewsHub.
According to the group, requiring big employers to report pay gaps will help "reduce child poverty and end the discrimination that impacts on the aspirations of Māori, of Pasifika; of other ethnic groups." In New Zealand, mandatory reporting of the pay gaps is already required for public services. Under MindTheGap's public registry campaign, 55 large companies are already reporting gender pay gaps, while seven also report their Māori and Pasifika pay gaps.
MindTheGap campaign co-founder Jo Cribb also said that other countries that made it mandatory to report the pay gap not only resulted in closing it but also positively impacted workers' pay packets. The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) is one of the open letter's signatories while stressing that pay equity is one of the "biggest issues facing working people" in New Zealand.
"As a country, we can help improve the wellbeing of our working people with simple steps such as pay gap reporting. We look forward to working with the Government to see this become a reality," said Melissa Ansell-Bridges, NZCTU national secretary.