Monday, November 07, 2016

A good idea

Human Rights Commisisoner Dr Jackie Blue thinks its time to force companies to disclose their gender pay-gaps:

Women's pay and their presence in the workplace hierarchy aren't progressing quickly enough, says Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue.

So she's now calling for a law forcing major New Zealand companies to declare their gender pay gap.

Dr Blue says she would like to see New Zealand adopt a new UK law which applies to every company with more than 250 employees.

"They tried the voluntary approach, didn't work, so they're bringing in legislation. There's going to be a penalty if they don't comply of about £5000. It's still too low," she told the Nation.

"But just across in Australia, they've been doing that since 2012 for companies over 100, so this is not like a weird idea."

I agree. Public information - and the public pressure that results from it - is one of the best ways to force employers to obey the law. At present, they get away with discriminatory pay rates because its done in secret: they don't tell us (or the government) that they're doing it, while gag clauses in employment contracts prevent their employees from discussing pay rates and finding out. But whether a company is breaking the law is not private information. Instead, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Employers should be forced to provide this data, and justify any pay gaps that exist.

National will never do it: their dead white male caucus is deeply in the pocket of the dead white male business class which benefits from this discrimination. If we want a more equal society, we need to change the government.