Version as at 28 October 2021

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Equal Pay Act 1972

Public Act
1972 No 118
Date of assent
20 October 1972
20 October 1972

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.


1Short Title
2AAATransitional, savings, and related provisions
2AABAct binds the Crown
2AACDifferentiation in rates of remuneration prohibited
2AUnlawful discrimination
2BChoice of proceedings
3Criteria to be applied
4Determination of equal pay [Repealed]
5Interim increases [Repealed]
6Implementation of equal pay in awards [Repealed]
7Implementation of equal pay in other instruments [Repealed]
8New classification of work [Repealed]
8AApplication of this Part
9Court may state principles for implementation of equal pay
10Approval by court or Employment Relations Authority of employment agreements or proposed employment agreements
11Court may make partial award [Repealed]
12Further powers of Employment Relations Authority
13Recovery of remuneration based on equal pay
13CGood faith in pay equity claim process
13DUnion right to represent members
13EUnions and employees may raise pay equity claims
13FMeaning of arguable
13GRequirements relating to all pay equity claims
13HRequirements for claim raised by individual employee
13IRequirements for claim raised by union or unions
13JEmployer must acknowledge receipt of pay equity claim and notify unions
13KUnion-raised claims raised with multiple employers: employers must enter into pay equity process agreement
13LOpting out of multi-employer pay equity claim
13MMultiple union claims raised with single employer: unions must consolidate
13NConsolidation of claim raised with additional or new employer with existing union-raised claim
13OProcess to request consent to consolidate
13PEffect of consolidation
13QEmployer must form view as to whether pay equity claim is arguable
13RNotice extending time limit for employer’s decision as to whether claim arguable
13SEmployer’s obligations after deciding whether claim is arguable
13TDeciding if multi-employer pay equity claim is arguable
13UEmployer must give notice of first arguable pay equity claim raised by individual employee
13VEmployer must give notice of first arguable pay equity claim raised by union
13WAffected employees automatically covered by union claims
13XUnion may not require fees from non-members
13YEmployees may opt out of pay equity claim raised by union
13ZEmployer must notify union of employees covered by union-raised claim
13ZANew employees covered by union-raised claim
13ZBProcess applies to arguable claims
13ZCDuty to provide information
13ZDMatters to be assessed
13ZEIdentifying appropriate comparators
13ZFRequirement for union to obtain mandate before settling pay equity claim
13ZGApplication of section 63A of Employment Relations Act 2000 to pay equity bargaining
13ZHSettling pay equity claim
13ZIUnfair bargaining for pay equity claim settlement
13ZJRemedies for unfair bargaining
13ZKCopy of pay equity claim settlement to be delivered to chief executive
13ZLOffers of benefit of pay equity claim settlement to other employees
13ZMEffect of pay equity claim settlement on employment agreements
13ZNRelationship between pay equity claims and collective bargaining
13ZOParties may refer issues to mediation
13ZPPurpose of facilitating pay equity claim
13ZQReference to Authority
13ZRWhen Authority may accept reference
13ZSLimitation on which member of Authority may provide facilitation
13ZTProcess of facilitation
13ZUStatements made by parties during facilitation
13ZVProposals made or positions reached during facilitation
13ZWRecommendation by Authority
13ZXParties must deal with Authority in good faith
13ZYParties may apply for determination by Authority
13ZZUnion must notify employees covered by union-raised claim before applying for determination by Authority
13ZZAIf Authority or court determines pay equity claim is arguable
13ZZBProcess on application to fix remuneration
13ZZCLimitation on challenge to determination of Authority fixing remuneration
13ZZDDetermination may provide for recovery of remuneration for past work
13ZZELimitation periods for recovery of remuneration for past work
13ZZFPay equity records
13ZZGPay equity claims by employees in education service
14Procedure and jurisdiction of Employment Relations Authority [Repealed]
15Claimant employee must not be treated adversely
16Powers of Inspectors [Repealed]
17Records to be kept by employers [Repealed]
17AAdvice of increments of pay and other increases in pay to be given to female employees [Repealed]
18Penalty for non-compliance
18AProceedings by Labour Inspector or employee concerned for penalty
18BPowers of Inspectors
18CProcedure and jurisdiction of Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court
20Act to be administered in Department of Labour [Repealed]

An Act to make provision for the removal and prevention of discrimination, based on the sex of the employees, in the rates of remuneration of males and females in paid employment, and for matters incidental thereto