This annual report covers the period from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010.
Significant work completed during this period included:
- advice to the Minister of Labour on Women and part-time work, and
- submissions and input into
- the annual review of the minimum wage
- the Draft Code of Employment Practice on Infant Feeding,
- Income Splitting tax credit for families
- the termination of 100 percent qualified teacher target for early childhood services
- Holidays Act 2003 Review, and
- the review of Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act 2000.
Established in 1967, as an independent advisory body to the Minister of Labour on matters related to women and employment, the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (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 ministerial appointees, representatives from Business New Zealand and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU), an expert advisor and representatives from various government departments.
The ministerial appointees, Business New Zealand and NZCTU representatives, and the 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
Project Group Work
NACEW continued to use a project group structure to progress its work programme. NACEW was conscious that project work should only guide any outputs the Council wished to achieve rather than its work being defined by its structure.
Quality of Work
Part-time work project
NACEW has an ongoing interest in understanding current issues related to the position of women working part-time. NACEW is concerned that the “quality” of part-time work is poorer than that of full-time work, although there is little recent analysis or research in New Zealand that contributes to a full understanding of the dynamics of part-time work and the experiences of part-time workers.
Research undertaken by the OECD shows that part-time work is increasingly prevalent amongst the voluntary sector and prime-aged women (25-54) and that there are significant differences between the wages and working conditions of
part-timers and full-timers.
The current report is ‘Phase 2’ of a two-phase project on women and part-time work. Phase 1 was completed in September 2008 with the report, “Women and part-time work: A stocktake of recent research”. This earlier report provided a stock-take of research on women currently in part-time work and focused on the quality of work for part-time workers compared to full-time workers. It also drew attention to the fact that current knowledge about part-time work in New Zealand is very limited.
For Phase 2, NACEW commissioned a report, New Zealand women’s employment outcomes: the relationship between working shorter hours and low-paid, female-dominated occupations (http://www.nacew.govt.nz/publications/quality/employmentoutcomes) based on primary research which aimed to identify the characteristics, pay and working issues for prime-aged (25-54) female employees who work less than full-time in low paid jobs and in particular low paid jobs in retail, cleaning, and residential care. The report aimed to identify what helps and hinders progress at work, and practical mechanisms or best practice that supports progression at work; and to identify broader issues that could be considered by industry, unions and government.
For the purposes of the report part-time hours is defined as less than 37 hours a week.
The report found that nearly four in ten prime-aged women who work less than full-time are low paid. Whilst some of this low pay may represent a lifestyle choice, the extent of low pay for this group, in comparison to other prime-aged workers, suggests a significant under-utilisation, or waste, of women’s skills and potential. The one in nine prime-aged women working less than full-time who earn $30 or more an hour is a positive sign that shorter hours work does not need to mean poor quality work. But there is still work to be done to increase the number of women in this position.
The three common low paid occupations for women are cleaners/caretakers, care and support workers and retail sales workers. These occupations tend to be low paid whether they work full-time or part-time. Longer tenure offers almost no increase in pay in these occupations and pay is low irrespective of their skills and qualifications. The research failed to find any examples of industry or firm specific strategies or good practice to facilitate the progression of women into higher paid jobs.
Enabling low-skilled women to access a career pathway to better paid work is difficult. Evidence in New Zealand and elsewhere indicates that many low skilled women moving in and out of work rely on income support to bolster their income. While employment programmes can assist low skilled women back into work, and into more hours of work and training, being back in work tends not to result in any pay or career advancement. The problem of low pay exists whether full-time or not, and whether or not the employee has served long tenure of employment.
The report concluded that new strategies are needed to enable these women to gain better jobs to enhance their skills, responsibilities and better pay.
NACEW drew attention to these issues through publishing the report on their website in conjunction with a media release.
NACEW prepared submissions on the annual review of the minimum wage, the draft Code of Employment Practice on Infant Feeding, Income Splitting tax credit for families, the termination of 100 percent qualified teacher target for early childhood services, Holidays Act 2003 Review and the review of Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act 2000.
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.
The Council will 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 statutory review of flexible working arrangements and the ‘right to request.
Pauline A Winter
NACEW Membership: Council composition 2009-10
|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|