For immediate release 15/08/2018
Retail sector a prime opportunity to close in on the gender gap
Statistics New Zealand has announced today the gender pay gap is the second smallest since records began 20 years ago,
9.2 percent for the June 2018 quarter. The lowest was 9.1 percent in 2012.
FIRST Union retail, finance and commerce secretary Tali Williams says while the figures are moving, there’s still a long
way to go and the retail sector provides the perfect opportunity to address the imbalance.
“The figures are moving in the right direction however as the retail workers union we are concerned to note that part
time workers continue to experience a higher impact from the gender pay gap than full time workers. The retail industry
has a high proportion of part time workers and a high proportion of women workers so it is workers in this industry that
continue to suffer the gender pay gap.”
Ms Williams says woman are disadvantaged in many areas of work, but if the work hours and pay in retail were increased
it would go a long way to balancing out the gender differences.
“This disadvantages so many women but it also presents an opportunity, if we can get this sector right it would go far to
closing the gender gap. We encourage more companies to come on board our Worth It campaign that seeks to provide the
Living Wage of $20.55 an hour, give workers enough hours to live on, and to ensure that as the minimum wage goes up, so
too do existing pay rates relative to this.”
Editor’s note: The Worth It campaign:
The campaign calls on employers in the retail industry to pay workers a Living Wage of $20.55 an hour, give workers
enough hours to live on, and ensure that as the minimum wage increases, so too do existing pay rates relative to this.
This is in response to the overwhelming underpayment and underemployment of workers in this sector. Many retail workers
in New Zealand currently survive on minimum wage rates and don’t have enough hours of work to live on. Pay rates and
work hours are so low that employers struggle to fill vacancies, and a pay crisis is already in effect as the average
retail worker struggles to live. The campaign was set up as an opportunity for retail brands to instil more ethical work
Putting Workers First
FIRST Union is New Zealand's second-largest private sector trade union.
Formed in 2011 after the merger between the National Distribution Union and Finsec, FIRST Union represents 27,000
workers in the Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood), Retail, Stores, Transport and Logistics sectors.
FIRST Union is also affiliated to the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and runs several networks including the Union
Network of Migrants, the Runanga, Fono and Womens' Committee. In 2015 FIRST Union launched Samoa First Union, Samoa's
only private sector union.
Join FIRST Union today for higher pay, better conditions and more say at work.