This Annual Report covers the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004. NACEW undertook an expanded work programme during the year, following its prioritised strategy and the increased funding obtained in Budget 2003. NACEW formed sub-committees to progress work programmes focused on three key issues for women’s employment: women in enterprise, work-life balance and childcare, and pay equity. The pay equity sub-committee organised a conference on pay and employment equity on 28-29 June 2004. The women’s enterprise development sub-committee undertook quantitative research on women in self-employment as well as further qualitative research. The work-life balance/childcare sub-committee commissioned case-study research on work-life balance and raised awareness of the issue by publishing the research in a brochure distributed to all childcare and köhanga reo centres throughout New Zealand. The Council continued to produce submissions on relevant legislation and other initiatives. NACEW also undertook the implementation of its communications plan through the development of its website and the strengthening of its partnerships and networking. The secretariat of NACEW has also changed with resignations and the appointment of a new full-time Executive Officer and a policy analyst (half time) dedicated to NACEW’s work.
Women’s Enterprise Development
The women’s enterprise development sub-committee, chaired by Colleen Tuuta, commissioned research on women in business to improve understanding of their status, motivations, experiences and ultimately potential to contribute to the growth of the wider economy. The first stage of this research was the commissioning of a report by Claire Massey and Candice Harris of the New Zealand Centre for SME Research at Massey University. The report they produced is entitled “Discovering the Potential of Women in Small Business”. Margaret Wilson, Minister of Commerce launched the report at a Parliament reception in June 2004.
The report uses the Census and Business Frame data to outline the characteristics of self-employed women and businesses owned by women. One of the key findings of the report is that self-employed women have a number of similar characteristics to women employees. Self-employed women have lower incomes than their self-employed male counterparts, are more likely to be part-time working proprietors and their businesses are clustered in a narrow range of industry sectors.
The second stage of the research on women in enterprise was a qualitative study of a sample of women in small business and their experiences. A number of focus groups were conducted, and a report of this study will be finalised in the next financial year.
Work-Life Balance / Childcare
NACEW worked closely with the Department of Labour on the Government’s Work-Life Balance Project. Suzanne Snively, in her capacity as Chair of NACEW, is a member of the Work-Life Balance Steering Group.
NACEW’s work-life balance/ childcare sub-committee, chaired by Ronda Tokona, commissioned case study research by Ruth Panelli of Otago University. Ruth interviewed four women about their experiences of balancing paid work, family responsibilities and other commitments. The four women’s stories have been put into a pamphlet called “Work-Life Balance: What’s That?” with advice to other women on what they can do about their work-life balance. The pamphlet is designed to raise awareness of the issues. This pamphlet was part of the wider communications strategy of the Work-Life Balance Project and was sent to an audience that may not have been involved in the engagement phase of the Project. The pamphlet was distributed through the early childhood sector and put onto the NACEW website in April 2004. Ruth Dyson, Associate Minister of Labour also released a press statement to launch the pamphlet.
Led by sub-committee chair, Martha Coleman, NACEW convened a New Zealand Conference on Pay and Employment Equity for Women on 28-29 June 2004. The purpose of the conference was to discuss, debate and explore pay and employment equity issues, to consider overseas and New Zealand experiences, and to discuss a way forward for pay and employment equity in New Zealand. The conference was opened by Ruth Dyson, Associate Minister of Labour and the closing address was delivered by Margaret Wilson, Minister of Commerce. Topics covered at the conference included the case for pay and employment equity: business and human rights imperatives; lessons from overseas (UK, Canada, Australia and USA); relationship between public contracting and pay and employment equity obligations; litigating pay and employment equity: strategic uses and limits; improving women’s pay through skill development; and low pay and pay equity. Overseas speakers at the conference included: Dr Pat Armstrong (Canada), Mary Cornish (Canada), Philippa Hall (Australia), Dr Heidi Hartmann (USA), Professor Aileen McColgan (UK) and Dr Barbara Pocock (Australia). Also speaking at the conference were a number of New Zealand experts on various aspects of pay and employment equity. Department of Labour Chief Executive, James Buwalda and the State Services Commissioner, Mark Prebble spoke about the role of their departments in implementing public sector pay and employment equity. The conference concluded with a panel discussion on the way forward, chaired by Suzanne Snively (NACEW) and involving Judy McGregor (EEO Commissioner), Shenagh Gleisner (Chief Executive, Ministry of Women’s Affairs), Carol Beaumont (NZCTU), Martha Coleman, and Trudie McNaughton (Director, Expertise Ltd).
Annual Review of the Minimum Wage
NACEW was invited to submit comments to the Minister of Labour on the annual review of the minimum wage. It is still the view of NACEW that moderate increases in the minimum wage are likely to have a positive effect on the income of women and narrow the gender pay gap. This is supported by recent research that shows that increases in the minimum wage do not crowd out inexperienced workers as had been previously believed.
Employment Relations Law Reform Bill
In February 2004, NACEW made a submission to the Select Committee on the proposed repeal of the Equal Pay Act 1972 in the Employment Relations Law Reform Bill. The Council focussed its submission on the areas of the Bill that most directly affect women. These are the equal pay provisions of Part 2 of the Bill and the provisions to protect vulnerable workers in restructuring situations in Part 1 of the Bill. The Council supports the provisions in Part 1 of the Bill to protect vulnerable workers in restructuring situations. NACEW supports the Bill’s intentions to improve the equal pay legislation. NACEW brought the Select Committee’s attention to the risk that the Bill may reduce the opportunity for equal value claims and the Council would like to see this possibility retained. NACEW made some suggestions on improving the equal pay processes outlined in the Bill.
NACEW carried out the implementation of its communications plan. This included the redesign of the Council’s logo, the development of a new letterhead and the redesign of the website. The old website did not comply with the SSC guidelines for government websites. The new website (www.nacew.govt.nz) went live on 1 March 2004. NACEW’s terms of reference include the promotion of the dissemination of information on the employment of women in New Zealand and overseas. The website is important for archiving and disseminating NACEW’s research.
NACEW continued to develop its relationship with its partner organisations - the National Council of Women, the Maori Women’s Welfare League, Pacifica, Rural Women New Zealand and the YWCA. Executive members of NACEW’s partner organisations were invited to present at NACEW meetings. Partners were also invited to attend the February 2004 NACEW meeting with the Minister of Labour primarily to involve them in the consultation over the government’s work/life balance project. Partners were also very cooperative in mailing out to their membership, NACEW’s registration pamphlet for the pay and employment equity conference.
Anna Pasikale resigned as a ministerial appointee in August 2003. Margaret Ledgerton (NZCTU representative) resigned when she left the AUS in February 2004, and was replaced by Eileen Brown of the NZ Nurses Organisation. Liz Mende, NACEW’s Executive Officer, resigned in July 2003 and Philippa Yasbek was acting Executive Officer from August through to October 2003. Siew Chan was appointed as the new Executive Officer and the first official to provide full-time support to NACEW, in November 2003. Philippa Yasbek provided policy analyst resource (half time) to NACEW from then. There was a change in the Department of Labour’s representation when Bettina Schaer resigned in March 2004. Lis Cowey represented the Department of Labour for the remainder of the year. Margot Anderson became the new Ministry of Women’s Affairs representative in November 2003, replacing Julie Browne.
The membership of the Council as at 30 June 2004 was as follows:
|Suzanne Snively||Wellington||Ministerial Appointee & Chair|
|Colleen Tuuta||New Plymouth||Ministerial Appointee|
|Beverley Main||Wellington||Ministerial Appointee|
|Ronda Tokona||Dunedin||Ministerial Appointee|
|Mary Marshall||Auckland||Ministerial Appointee|
|Jane Scott||Auckland||Ministerial Appointee|
|Pauline Winter||Auckland||Ministerial Appointee|
|Siew Chan||Wellington||Executive Officer|
|Philippa Yasbek||Wellington||Policy Analyst|
|Employer and Employee Organisation Representatives|
|Barbara Burton||Wellington||Business New Zealand|
|Sheryl Cadman||Wellington||New Zealand Council of Trade Unions|
|Eileen Brown||Wellington||New Zealand Council of Trade Unions|
|Governmental Department Representatives|
|Lis Cowey||Wellington||Department of Labour|
|Margot Anderson||Wellington||Ministry of Women’s Affairs|
|Katrina Ings||Wellington||Ministry of Social Development|
|Carolyn Holmes||Wellington||Ministry of Education|
|Pania Tyson Nathan||Wellington||Te Puni Kokiri|
|Sela Gaualofa||Wellington||Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs|
|Jude Bleach||Wellington||State Services Commission|
|Pat Colgate||Wellington||Ministry of Economic Development|