Equal Pay Act
Equal Pay Act
The Equal Pay Act 1972 deals specifically with pay equity between males and
females doing the same work. While the Human Rights Act 1993 protects
against discrimination on the basis of gender, it does not include the issue of
pay equity.
This Act requires an employer to provide the same conditions of work, fringe
benefits, training opportunities, promotion and transfer rights, to all
employees who are engaged in the same work, and who share the same or
substantially similar qualifications, in the same or substantially similar
circumstances, regardless of the gender of the employees. Equal pay is
defined in section 2(1) of the Equal Pay Act 1972 as a “rate of remuneration for
work in which rate there is no element of differentiation between male
employees and females employees based on the sex of the employees.”
A complaint that an employee has been treated differently by an employer in
their employment conditions or pay, may be made to the Employment
Relations Authority as a breach of this Act. Alternatively, complaints can be
brought to the Human Rights Commission as a complaint of unlawful
discrimination in their employment under the Human Rights Act 1993. The
complainant must elect one of these two options.
Refer to the A-Z Guide on Human Rights for more information about
provisions requiring a choice of procedures and complaints under the Human
Rights Act 1993.
The making of a complaint under the Equal Pay Act 1972 in the Employment
Relations Authority does not limit the right to lodge a personal grievance under the Employment Relations Act 2000 for unjustified disadvantage or unjustified

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