Friday, March 08, 2019

Time for pay transparency

Its International Women's Day, and Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali'i Dr Karanina Sumeo is taking the opportunity to call for pay transparency. We lag behind the world on this: Australia, the UK, Iceland, Denmark, and even the USA all have legislation requiring large employers to report on gender pay gaps and voiding NDAs where they prevent discussions of pay to expose discrimination. And they're effective:

Shedding light on how much people earn significantly reduces the gender pay gap, research has found.

But not for the reasons you think.

A study into the salary transparency regulations in Denmark found a seven per cent drop in pay disparities when companies had to reveal wages by gender.

Researchers said the drop had more to do with a reduction in pay rises for men than an increase in pay rises for women.

Or to turn that around: it stops men from getting undeserved pay rises solely on the basis of having a penis. Which sounds like success to me.

Sumeo suggests that the government amend its Equal Pay Amendment Bill (currently before a select committee) to include a pay transparency clause for large employers. I agree. Inequality is a disease, and sunlight is the best disinfectant.