Women start working for free from today

In New Zealand the average woman earns 13.1 per cent less than the average man, something Tauranga-based Labour MP Angie Warren-Clark believes needs to change. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

A day of working for free isn't usually an opportunity to celebrate - but today women around the country will do just that.

‘Work for Free' Day symbolically represents the day women start working for free for the rest of the year due to unequal pay.

In New Zealand the average woman earns 13.1 per cent less than the average man, meaning that from now until the end of the year, Kiwi women are not being paid for their work.

Research commissioned by the previous government shows that 80 per cent of the gender pay gap is "unexplained" and thus due to bias against women and jobs considered "women's work".

Some honouring the day include the PSA who will join Labour and Greens ministers for a special celebration at Parliament.

"We want to thank the new Labour-led government for its strong stance on equal pay," says PSA assistant national secretary Kerry Davies.

"They've already ditched the deeply flawed bill introduced by the previous government, and the Minister for Women wants to end the public sector pay gap by 2020.

"If unions continue to work with government and business - as they did in the Joint Working Group on Equal Pay Principles - we can get this done."

The ministers will receive a limited-edition poster thanking them for their commitment to the issue and encouraging them to commit to policies that will end gender pay discrimination.

Tauranga-based Labour MP Angie Warren-Clark, who was unable to join the festivities today due to a caucus meeting, says it's an issue she believes needs to change.

“I think it's been recognised that the inequality has not been due to the fact that we don't put ourselves forward, that there aren't those opportunities for us or that we aren't skilled, but instead it is due to bias and sexism.

“Hopefully men will stop and participate in the day's festivities too,” she says. “If we as a society think it is okay to pay women less then what does that say about us as a nation?”

The Council of Trade Unions says politicians have the power to make today a happier date for New Zealand women.

"The 13 per cent gender pay imbalance means the boss is in essence getting free labour out of women in paid work from today until January 1, 2018.

“Maori women collectively started working for free on October 8. Pasifika women are effectively unpaid for over a quarter of the year - their employers started taking free labour, on average, from September 21.

"Our law already says that taking this unpaid labour from women is illegal, and the free ride is about to end.

“We have three parties in government now who have committed to putting the agreed equal pay principles into the current law and not creating additional hurdles for women. This will create a swift and clear legal pathway for women to claim the pay that's rightfully theirs."



Posted on 15-11-2017 07:43 | By maildrop

When you consider they waste at least 13% more time with irrelevant chatter, I think they should be "working" for free from June. Pay it back.


Posted on 15-11-2017 05:03 | By old trucker

you are so right, i do not see why we have to pay for maternity leave, its UNFAIR, its their choice,for gosh sake they should stay at home till (kids are at least 5),its not the employers fault, this must disrupt a business lots,have to find someone to take their place,and that person will be let go so mum can come back,having kids is hard work,and marternity leave lets them go for coffee everyday and get payed, i was talking to a woman yesterday and she said her Boss would not let her have a day off without pay,it would come off Annual leave,and if you did you had to take a whole week off,and that would be annual leave, that sucks eh,anyway has left that job and got a AWESOME new boss,and a car supplied,yes men do get discriminated against,maybe we should have a baby,Thankyou 10-4 0ut,phew.


Posted on 14-11-2017 18:50 | By Capt_Kaveman

more worried on the increase CEO,s get

I don't see it

Posted on 14-11-2017 18:49 | By astex

I am not sure where this gender pay gap is. Can someone enlighten me? Male and female nurses have the same pay, this also applies to male and female police, cleaners, bus drivers and all the other jobs that I can see everyday. If this only applies to the higher positions, CEO's etc it is the fault of the females for not negotiating the pay deal properly in the first place.

Same old song.

Posted on 14-11-2017 16:22 | By AKS

The "new government" has barely done anything, but already they sing an old tiring tune of "The previous government". Everything is the fault of "the previous government" in pretty much every article released now.Instead of blaming the work they need to put in to hold up their promises made to obtain leadership on others, maybe they should put up or shut up. Do what you promise instead of talking big then complaining how much hard work there is due to the supposed wrong doings of the "previous government".It could easily be said that the "previous government" didn't get far in their ambitions because of wrong doings by the government before them, and who might the ones before the "previous government" be? Can you jump up and down and answer that one, Labour?

Pay equality

Posted on 14-11-2017 15:36 | By RustySpoon

Does this take into account the different jobs men and women are working? Does it include overtime and the experience required for each job?

Unequal pay?

Posted on 14-11-2017 15:24 | By MISS ADVENTURE

What a naive statement, perhaps the qualificatins are different? Perhaps the abilities are different, perhaps the overall productivity is different, perhaps the costs to employers are different and so in end result the employer pays that rate of wages that reflects all teh above. It is a simple economic decision. if there is to be "equal" pay then perhaps woman should look at cancelling maternity leave for example (discriminates against men, they can get it). This is a disruption and cost to any employer, it must be factored into all costs to operate a busienss and so either there is a pay difference or the man gets the job. No doubt a heap of PC-ites will start moaning, for the record, it is not about "equality" meaing equal, it is about equality meaning comparre same with same.

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