This annual report covers the period from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009. Due to the change in government at the end of 2008, the Council focused on reviewing its programme of work.
Significant work completed during this period included:
- Advice to the Minister of Labour on Women and part-time work
- Submissions and input to the annual review of the minimum wage, the Carers Strategy, Schools Plus, the Employment Relations (Breaks and Infant Feeding) Amendment Bill, and Income Splitting for Families with Children
NACEW drafted a new strategic plan for 2009-2012 which further develops the strategic themes of the previous strategic plan (2006-2009), namely the promotion of valued, quality work; equipping women with choice; and influencing future directions for women in the workplace. These three themes are built into NACEW’s work programme and sit above its two current priority areas:
- to continue the work already begun particularly in the area of Quality Work, Work and Care, and Maori and Pacific women’s employment and the reduction of gender and occupational segregation
- to work towards ensuring that the foundations are laid for all New Zealand women, now and in the future, to make informed, quality choices about their employment participation.
Established in 1967, as an independent advisory body to the Minister of Labour on matters related to women and employment, NACEW is charged with the following responsibilities:
- to advise the Minister of Labour on matters referred to him/her concerning the employment of women
- to express views and make recommendations as appropriate to the Minister of Labour on matters relating to the employment of women
- to make representations or submissions as appropriate to public bodies such as Commissions of Enquiry, subject to the approval of the Minister
- to promote the dissemination of information on the employment of women in New Zealand and overseas.
NACEW comprises of ministerial appointees, representatives from Business New Zealand and the NZCTU, an expert advisor and representatives from various government departments.
The ministerial appointees, Business New Zealand and NZCTU representatives, and expert advisor form the decision-making part of NACEW. The role of departmental representatives is to provide advice and policy support to NACEW to help inform decision-making and support the work of NACEW.
When making appointments full consideration is always given to the need to achieve an appropriate age, ethnic and geographical balance. Currently, NACEW consists of six Pakeha New Zealanders, one member of Maori descent, and one of both Maori and Pacific descent. Of the eight current Ministerial members of NACEW two are based in Wellington, two in Auckland, one in Waipu, one in Palmerston North, one in Invercargill and one in Alexandra
The Council has gone through significant membership changes. A number of government representatives changed as well as the whole Department of Labour secretariat.
Project Group Work
NACEW continued to use a project group structure to progress its work programme but was conscious that project work should guide any outputs the Council wished to achieve rather than its work being defined by its structure.
Quality of Work
Part-time work project
The Council commissioned a report to examine the current status of part-time workers in New Zealand and women’s experience of part-time work. This report provided a stock-take of women currently in part-time work and focused on the quality of work for part-time workers compared to full-time workers. Key conclusions from the report include the following:
- Thirty-five percent of New Zealand women in the workforce work part-time;
- There is a close association between occupation, sex and part-time work;
- Working multiple part-time jobs is more common for women than men.
The report was completed in September 2008 and highlighted the fact that while there is considerable statistical research conducted in New Zealand on part time work there is very little research that contributes to a broader understanding of the dynamics of part time work for women and their experiences as part time workers, especially their longer-term experiences.
Given the findings from this report, the Council wants to explore the impacts of the greater tendency of women aged 25-54 to work reduced hours in low paid part-time jobs, in particular in retail, cleaning, and caring. The second phase of the part-time work project will aim to identify an overall picture of prime aged women working fewer than full-time hours in low paid jobs and will focus on opportunities for, and experiences of progression within a selection of large employers in retail, cleaning and residential care.
Māori and Pacific Women’s Employment/Transitions through Life
The Council was aware of the need for a clearer body of knowledge on young Māori and Pacific women’s transitions in this area; and a stock take of current initiatives and statistics was identified as an important first step to ensure the Council has a strong evidence-base prior to further work, if any, being determined. This aligned with the Council’s focus on Māori and Pacific women’s economic sustainability and improving younger women’s participation in employment and earnings.
Successful transitions from secondary schooling to tertiary study or employment for Maori and Pacific women is an integral part of the future success of New Zealand. The Council commissioned a report on this subject in 2008.
In its examination of sector initiatives and programmes the report findings show there is a considerable variety of government initiatives and programmes aimed at addressing the disparities for Maori and Pacific young people, yet there are few specifically directed to young women. The Council intends to keep the Minister of Labour informed on the progress of these programmes’ outcomes for future reference.
Pay and Employment Equity online tools
NACEW launched the Pay and Employment Equity online tools (developed for HR practitioners in the private sector for employers who want to ensure their business practices treat all of their employees fairly) on Wednesday 27 August 2008 in the West Foyer of Parliament. The then Minister of Labour, Hon Trevor Mallard and Phil O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Business NZ, co-hosted this event aimed at raising awareness of the tools amongst business leaders.
NACEW prepared submissions on the annual review of the minimum wage, the Carers Strategy, Schools Plus, the Employment Relations (Breaks and Infant Feeding) Amendment Bill, and Income Splitting for Families with Children.
The papers Critical issues for New Zealand women’s employment, now and in the future and Priority improvements to parental leave were distributed to a wide range of stakeholders in July 2008.
Publications of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women: Annotated Bibliography was distributed in August 2008 to a small group of stakeholders. This was received positively.
The Critical Issues paper and the Annotated Bibliography were developed as part of NACEW’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
NACEW continued its relationships with its partner organisations - the National Council of Women of New Zealand, the Māori Women’s Welfare League, PACIFICA, Rural Women New Zealand and the YWCA. It has also widened its engagement with a range of other stakeholders by inviting representatives to Council meetings, distributing NACEW’s publications, and encouraging feedback on the Council’s views when necessary.
NACEW’s partner organisations were invited to provide input into a new programme of work and two of the five organisations were able to join a NACEW strategic planning day in May 2009.
The Council will:
- explore the impacts of the greater tendency of women aged 25-54to work reduced hours in low paid part-time jobs, in particular in retail, cleaning, and caring. The project will focus on opportunities for, and experiences of progression within a selection of large employers in retail, cleaning and residential care
- influence the work across government to ensure that the effects of the recession on women’s employment outcomes are mitigated. The Council will also influence government research so that the effects of the recession includes key indicators on women, including young women and Maori and Pacific women. NACEW is looking for assurance these impacts are being properly monitored
- keep a watching brief and provide input to the Department of Labour and advise the Minister of Labour on core areas of labour policy including:
- New Zealand women’s employment equity perspective. The Council remains focused on employment equity and this will continue to inform its advice and support to the Minister;
- the Paid Parental Leave review. The Council is keen to provide early input into the scope of this review as well as a submission in early 2010;
- the statutory review of flexible working arrangements and the ‘right to request’;
- the proposed Code of Employment Practice for Infant Feeding.
Pauline A Winter
National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women
NACEW Membership: Council composition 2008-09
|Pauline Winter, Chair||Auckland||Company Director, Consultant|
|Trudie McNaughton||Auckland||Company Director|
|Anne Meade||Wellington||Education Consultant|
|Jan Francis||Waipu||Company Director, Consultant|
|Janice Gordon||Palmerston North||Chief Executive, Phoenix Supported Employment|
|Carolyn Weston||Invercargill||Disabilities Advocate|
|Lorraine Skiffington||Porirua||Chief Executive and Director, Guinness Gallagher Corporate Advisory Ltd|
|Frances Diver||Alexandra||Company Director, Sweet Koura Enterprises Ltd|
|Martha Coleman||Wellington||Ministerial appointee, (Crown Law)|
|Employer and Employee Organisation Representatives|
|Barbara Burton||Wellington||Business New Zealand|
|Annabel Snow||Wellington||New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (Private sector)|
|Suzanne McNabb||Wellington||New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (Public sector)|
|Governmental Department Representatives 2008-09|
|Matthew McDermott||Wellington||Department of Labour|
|Sarah Turner||Wellington||Ministry of Women’s Affairs|
|Dale Warburton||Wellington||Ministry of Women’s Affairs|
|Helen Walter||Wellington||Ministry of Social Development|
|Sue Rissman||Dunedin||Ministry of Social Development|
|Diane Anorpong||Wellington||Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs|
|Nita Kerepeti-Ikin||Wellington||Te Puni Kokiri|
|Kathy Phillips||Wellington||Ministry of Education|
|Kirstie Hewlett||Wellington||Ministry of Economic Development|
|Secretariat and policy support (Department of Labour)|
|Carmel Peoples||Wellington||Executive Officer|
|Miriam Hughes||Wellington||Policy support|