PUBLICATIONS | 22 November 2013

Caregivers Score Significant Victory

The full bench of the Employment Court has recently issued an important judgment (Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota Inc v Terranova Homes and Care Ltd [2013] NZEmpC 157) concerning the interpretation of the Equal Pay Act 1972 (the Act).

Despite being on the statute book for more than 40 years, the Act’s recent impact on wage rates and bargaining has been limited. The outcome of this case signals that this could be about to change with the prospect that, if the Court finds that there has been discrimination against female employees because of their gender, higher wage rates could be imposed by the Employment Court under the Act. The possibility of the Court setting a rate of pay for employees would, to a limited extent, be a return to the days when the Arbitration Court could and did set pay rates.

The matter has been appealed but the application for leave to appeal has yet to be heard...