Court Ruling over Equal Pay will affect many Industries

The financial impact of higher staff wages in aged-care homes could force some operations to close, a sector group says.

New Zealand Aged Care Association chief executive Martin Taylor said the association was mulling a Court of Appeal decision based on whether women should be paid the same as similarly skilled men in different industries.

Higher pay in the sector could hurt some operators, he said.

Pay-equity campaigners yesterday celebrated a “slam dunk” after the court dismissed an appeal against a case that could raise the wages of thousands of women across the country.

This followed an Employment Court decision last year that ruled in favour of Lower Hutt caregiver Kristine Bartlett.

Bartlett, with the support of the Service and Food Workers Union, agreed to front a test case against her employer, TerraNova Homes & Care.

Bartlett argued that her $14.46 hourly wage was less than would be paid to men with the same or substantially similar skills and that it was a breach of the Equal Pay Act.

The judgment released yesterday ruled that the process should now return to the Employment Court.

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