Bullying, harassment a problem for a third of Kiwi workforce – survey

  • 5 hours ago

More than a third of respondents identified bullying and harassment as a significant workplace issue, the latest NZ Diversity Survey shows.

The figure of 36 percent in the April survey was up from 26 percent last October.

Diversity Works NZ chief executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie says conflict in the workplace is inevitable and it can help promote new ideas and innovation.

“However, it can escalate into bullying, harassment or violence, which has serious impacts on individuals and organisations,” she said.

Ms Cassidy-Mackenzie was speaking ahead of the 10th anniversary on Friday of Pink Shirt Day, an anti-bullying event launched in Canada.

She said New Zealand organisations were becoming more aware of the business benefits of creating an inclusive culture.

However, allowing bullying and harassment to continue unchecked would undermine their efforts in this area.

Just under 30 percent of people surveyed reported that there had been recorded incidents of bullying and harassment in their workplace in the previous 12 months.

Reporting was more frequent in public-sector organisations (37 percent) than in the private sector (23 percent).

Large organisations were more likely to have recorded incidents (45 percent) than medium-size (38 percent) or small organisations (9 percent).

NZN

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Submission on the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill

24th May 2017

Justice and Electoral Committee

Parliament Building
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

E-mail: Justice.Electoral@parliament.govt.nz

Re:          Submission on the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill

This submission is from the NZ Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) Inc.

Our Organisation

The International Federation of Business and Professional Women is a global organisation with representatives in over 100 countries, including New Zealand. Our organisation’s aims are to link professional and business women throughout the world so that they may provide support to each other, lobby for change and to promote the ongoing advancement of women and girls. We work for equal opportunities and status for all women in economic, civil and political life and the removal of discrimination in all countries. We promote our aims and organise our operating structure without distinction as to race, languag

International Status:

BPW International has General Consultative Status at the United Nations through the UN Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC). This enables BPW International to appoint official representatives to UN agencies worldwide and to accredit members to attend specific UN meetings.

BPW International upholds the outcomes of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee at state party level. BPW International upholds the outcome documents of the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which evaluates progress, identifies challenges, sets global standards and formulates policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.

BPW International also upholds the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1993 and affirms that under “violence against women constitutes a violation of the rights and fundamental freedoms of women and impairs or nullifies their enjoyment of those rights and freedoms “[i][1]. In particular, we refer to Article 4:

“States should pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating violence against women”

  1. Executive Summary

BPW NZ supports this Bill as an important step in addressing the strengthening of legislation to prevent the widespread and serious problem of family and whānau violence. We congratulate the Ministry of Justice on this important work.

BPW NZ recognises that this issue particularly affects women, children, Māori, the disabled and elderly:

  • In the four years from 2009 to 2012, an average of 13 women, 10 men, and 9 children were killed each year because of family violence;
  • 1 in 3 women will suffer at the hands of their intimate partner at least once in their lifetime;
  • 76 per cent of recorded assaults against females are committed by an offender that is identified as family.[2]
  • A review of family violence legislation found “some population groups are at an increased risk of family violence, including women, children, disabled people, older people and Māori.”[3]

While supporting this legislation, BPW NZ recommends the following amendments:

  • tougher consequences for breaches of police safety orders,
  • reference to disabled women and girls through the adoption of the recommendations made in New Zealand’s 6th periodic review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights regarding violence against disabled people,
  • and adoption of the recommendations from the Privacy Commissioner’s recent Inquiry into The Ministry Of Social Development’s Collection Of Individual Client-level Data From NGOs.
  • By consulting with the community to ensure that the language used is more encompassing – Domestic Violence rather than Family violence as this is not a true reflection of what is happening in the community.

In addition, BPW NZ believes it is important that there is specific and considerable outreach with Māori in the development of this Bill, that their practices and beliefs are incorporated within the language of this Bill, and also included in the implementation of this Bill should it come into law.

Our submission below will support the above recommendations by considering the following factors:

  • BPW NZ has policy that speaks to the above issues,
  • findings from inquiries commissioned by the New Zealand government or produced by our NGOs, and
  • our international treaty commitments.
  1. Domestic Family Violence Commitments

The Domestic Protection Act (1982) was the first law that specifically addressed domestic violence. This was enhanced by the Domestic Violence Act (1995).

In 2002, the Te Rito: New Zealand Family Violence Prevention Strategy was developed by the Family Violence Focus Group.

This led to the creation of the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse in 2005, which coordinates and distributes research on domestic violence.

However, a 2007 review found that the implementation of the act, in regard to protection orders, was still inadequate.[4] This led to the Domestic Violence (Enhancing Safety) Act (2009).

However, in 2011 a UN report found New Zealand did not compare well among other OECD countries.[5] This was supported by The Glenn Inquiry and their report The People’s Blueprint, released in 2014:[6]

“For a developed country, free from internal strife and blessed with stable democracy, New Zealand’s family violence rates are inexcusably high.”

The People’s Blueprint was supported by The Human Rights Commission: “Many of the recommendations such as a whole system approach, a national strategy, collection of accurate data and evaluation of programmes, capacity building and training of the workforce are what the government agreed to when it was examined by the Human Rights Council earlier this year,” Dr Blue said.[7]

Further, in 2016 Human Rights Commission report (New Zealand’s 6th periodic review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) included findings such as:

  • New Zealand has the fifth worst child abuse record of 31 OECD countries. The most serious violence against children is family violence.
  • Māori and disabled people are more likely to be victims of physical and sexual violence, and have less access to physical and psychological and judicial interventions.
  • A recent study focusing on violence against disabled people highlighted the hidden nature of much abuse directed against disabled people living in care situations akin to a family relationship within the community. In addition to the physical, emotional and sexual violence experienced by non-disabled people, “locked in” and “silencing” violence is often specifically directed at disabled people.[8]

Included in the recommendations of the report:

The Commission recommends that the Committee urges the Government to:

  • consider whether the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and other legislations provides sufficient protection for disabled people in community care situations and if it doesn’t commit to amending it so as to apply; and
  • commit to tracking violence/domestic violence against people with disabilities and educate the public as to the disability/violence nexus.
  1. BPW NZ on Domestic Violence

For the past twenty-five years, as a national federation, BPW NZ has worked to advocate for victims of family violence. This is an issue that is very personal for a number of our members.

Our BPW Kaitaia club initiated the “I am the One in 4” campaign to raise awareness around sexual abuse and to support victims of abuse.

In addition, over the years we have developed numbers of policies around family violence:

18.5.1. Funding for HAIPP (Hamilton Abuse Intervention Pilot Project) (1993)

18.5.2. Protection Orders (2008)

  • THAT the Government take urgent action to improve the implementation of the legislation relating to protection orders to ensure that such orders are effective in providing protection for battered women and their children.

18.5.3. Campaign to End Violence Against Women (2008)

  • THAT members support the campaign to end violence against women and urge their organisations to ensure that their members know about how to exercise their right to live without fear of violence, and are aware of the information, resources, support, protection and assistance available in their communities for victims of domestic violence.

18.5.4. Long Term Strategy For Elimination of Violence Against Women (2015)

18.5.5. Domestic Violence: Reduction of Violence In Society (2015)

18.7. Domestic Violence Act – Protected Persons (2008)

  • RECOGNISING THAT in the NGO Report to CEDAW in July 2007 the overwhelming concern for New Zealand Women was violence in all its forms; ACKNOWLEDGING THAT the Domestic Violence Act provides for programmes for Protected Persons, usually women and children, but that the uptake of these programmes is only 6%; all clubs are urged over the coming year to lobby the Ministers of Justice and Women’s Affairs to:
  • review and amend Section 29 of the Domestic Violence Act to ensure that Protected Persons are directed to commence programmes within six months of any Protection Order being made.
  • provide increased education and resourcing to promote the benefits of such programmes.

18.8. Family Violence Funding (2011)

  • THAT BPW NZ request that the Government does not cut funding to essential family violence programmes such as Te Rito, It’s Not OK, and also child advocates.

18.9. Funding for Victims of Sexual Abuse (1993, 2005, 2010)

18.11. Roper Report (1994)

18.17. Post Release Hostels for Women (2010)

18.18. Testifying by Witness (2010)

This year, in 2017, we continued our work with the passing of two policies at our national conference:

Breaches of Police Safety Orders (PSOs)

Breaches of Protection Orders

With these policies, our federation unanimously voted for breaches of police safety orders to be made a criminal offence and for breaches of protection orders to require a mandatory arrest.

BPW NZ has two additional policies which have shaped this submission:

11.4. Treaty of Waitangi (recognising that the Te Tiriti o Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document) (2012)

15.8.2. Services for Disabled People (care for women with disabilities, who are experiencing abuse) (2007)

  1. International Commitments

BPW NZ acknowledges the following international treaties which New Zealand is a party to:

CEDAW:

In 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

It defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.

CEDAW has asked that we call it violence against women or violence against children. Family harm, family violence and domestic violence do not tell the story.

CEDAW was ratified by New Zealand in 1985.

The Optional Protocol to CEDAW is a supplementary agreement allowing complaints to be made to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and allows the Committee to investigate complaints. This was ratified by New Zealand in 2000.[9]

CRPD:

CEDAW was strengthened by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which was introduced in 2006 and ratified by New Zealand in 2008.

It adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Optional Protocol to CRPD is a supplementary agreement that allows individuals or groups of individuals to make a complaint (or communication) directly to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Committee) alleging a violation of any rights under the CRPD. This was ratified by New Zealand in 2016.[10]

Beijing Declaration:

One of the outcomes of the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women was the Beijing Declaration, of which strategic objective IV. D. Violence against women stated:

“Violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace. Violence against women both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.”[11]

New Zealand has strongly committed to this declaration.[12]

  1. BPW NZ Recommendations

BPW NZ makes the following recommendations based on the considerations outlined above:

5.1   Making a breach of a police safety order a criminal offence

  • Police safety orders (PSOs): at present, and continued in this draft Bill, a breach of a PSO does not result in a criminal conviction.

BPW NZ recommends that any breach of a policy safety order be made a criminal offence.

Rationale:

The latest Police Data shows that the number of PSOs issued over the last five years has almost doubled. Documents released under the Official Information Act show 14,802 PSOs were issued nationwide in 2015-2016 compared to 8817 in 2011-2012.  PSOs are supposed to provide immediate protection for women, children and any other potential victims of family violence, however, the fact that a breach of a PSO can only result in the Perpetrator being held for 24 hours, significantly reduces its efficacy and does not ensure the victim’s safety.

The purpose of a PSO is to provide a “safety window” during which time the victim (s) can apply for a protection order through the courts and find a place of safety. Research suggests that the point at which a victim(s) is most at risk is at the point of separation. Breaches of PSO’s do not currently ensure a conviction takes place.

As long as a breach of a PSO is not a criminal offence, it will not be taken seriously enough by the perpetrator.

This resolution supports the work being done by Ang Jury, Chief Executive of Women’s Refuge NZ, who says: “The fact that these orders do not constitute a criminal offence is a definite weakness.”

5.2  Disabled people: this Bill does not clarify the role disabled people may have in a family relationships nor recognise that disabled people may require different and additional support as victims of family violence.

BPW NZ recommends that the special relationship that disabled people and their carers may have in clarified per clause 10, Section 4 Meaning of Family Violence.

BPW NZ urges the Minister to adopt the recommendations made in New Zealand’s 6th periodic review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights regarding violence against disabled people.

Rationale:

Disabled people, along with elderly and Maori, are identified as being at a higher risk of family violence. In many cases, the role of a family carer may be unpaid and casual and disabled people are dependent on carers in a unique way.

Disabled people may find it more challenging to speak out about violence and not have the capacity to seek support.

Auckland Disability Law are also providing a submission to this proposed legislation and we strongly support their recommendations.

5.3  Privacy protection: this Bill introduces new information sharing provisions, particularly in clause 69.

BPW NZ urges the Minister to adopt the recommendations of the Inquiry into the Ministry of Social Development’s Collection of Individual Client-Level Data from NGOs, under Section [13] of the Privacy Act 1993, which was released by the Privacy Commissioner April 2017.

Rationale:

BPW NZ club members are employees, managers, and on the Boards of social service agencies throughout New Zealand.

Our members have frontline experience, not just working with clients, but also as clients.

Although BPW NZ recognises the importance of sharing information about victims and offenders or potential offenders, we also hear of the fear they have that information about them will be shared and/or used against them.

BPW NZ believes this deters potential clients from utilizing social service agencies.

Anecdotally, our BPW Warkworth club member who is on the board of an abuse prevention service, has heard that some people are already avoiding agencies because of the fear that their information will be taken, shared and held against them at a future date.

Based on the recent Privacy Commissioner’s recent inquiry, BPW NZ understands that current individual client level data collection is consistent with the principles of the Privacy Act. We believe this Bill should support current practices and specifically, not support the collection and reporting to Government Departments, of Individual Client Level Data.

5.4  Te Tiriti o Waitangi: this Bill does not speak to New Zealand’s commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi as a founding document for New Zealand.

BPW NZ recommends that the role of Whānau be explained per clause 10, Section 4 of the Family and Whanua Violence Legislation Bill.

 That the practices and beliefs of Māori be incorporated into this Bill by widely consulting Māori in the development and implementation of this legislation.

Rationale:

(We refer to Mason Durie’s work in Whānau, Whanaungatanga and Healthy Māori Development published in Mai I Rangiatea, 1997)

In Aotearoa/New Zealand, the institution of whānau is more than simply an extended family network.  It is a diffuse unit, based on a common whakapapa within which certain responsibilities and obligations are maintained.

Since urbanisation, it has come to refer to a variety of ‘non-traditional’ relationships where Māori have similar interests but are not related by blood.

Whanaungatanga is the process by which whānau ties and responsibilities are strengthened – based on the principle of both sexes and all generations supporting and working alongside each other.

Therefore, all policies and interventions should be whānau-centred in their approach.

Since New Zealand has an obligation to the Treaty of Waitangi and therefore a bi-cultural responsibility to uphold Māori sovereignty over their own health and wellbeing, we believe that Māori should be consulted in all changes and updates to family violence policy.

Not least because Māori people are highly represented in terms of offenders and victims of family violence, consultation with Māori in this policy is crucial.

  1. Concluding Summary

BPW NZ supports this legislation but has outlined recommendations regarding Policy Safety Orders, disabled people, privacy, and our commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.

This reflects our international treaty commitments and the advice of national experts, such as the Privacy Commissioner and the Human Rights Commission.

BPW NZ is passionate about the issue of family violence.

We acknowledge the startling statistics – 80,000 and 90,000 police investigations each year centre on family violence – that reflect women, men, and children who are victims of violence. We implore the Justice and Electoral to consider our recommendations.

 Thank you for the opportunity to submit our submission and we hope that our comments are of use to you.

On behalf, of

New Zealand Federation of Business and professional Women Inc.

 

                                                                                       

Hellen Swales                                                                                                         Janet Gibb

President                                                                                            Vice President, Issues 

 

Contact details:-

Hellen Swales 027 528 6799

President@bpwnz.org.nz


[1] Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, G.A. Res. 48/104, U.N. Doc. A/RES/48/104 (Feb. 23, 1994)

[2] Ministry of Social Development, areyouok.org.nz/family-violence/statistics

[3] https://justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Publications/ris-review-fv-legislation.pdf

[4] https://library.nzfvc.org.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=2627

[5] https://www.un.org/ruleoflaw/files/Progress%20of%20the%20Worlds%20Women%202011-2012.pdf

[6] https://nzfvc.org.nz/content/glenn-inquiry-releases-peoples-blueprint

[7] https://www.hrc.co.nz/news/support-blue-print-call-stand-alone-agency/

[8] http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/NZL/INT_CCPR_NHS_NZL_23124_E.pdf

[9] ttp://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/

[10] http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx

[11] http://beijing20.unwomen.org/~/media/Field%20Office%20Beijing%20Plus/Attachments/BeijingDeclarationAndPlatformForAction-en.pdf#page=53

[12] https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/media-and-resources/ministry-statements-and-speeches/commission-on-the-status-of-women-61/

[13] https://www.privacy.org.nz/assets/Files/Reports/2017-04-04-Inquiry-into-MSD-collection-of-individual-client-level-data-OPC-report.pdf

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Treat her right


We need your voice, and as many voices as possible, so we can turn up the volume on this issue. Politicians need to hear from all New Zealanders that it’s no longer 1972. It’s 2017 and it’s time for New Zealand to be a fair place, a place where the sisters are treated the same as the misters.

THE CURRENT GENDER PAY IMBALANCE IS 13%.  IN 2016 WOMEN’S AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS ($432 A WEEK) WERE 61.1% OF MEN’S EARNINGS ($707 A WEEK)

GENDER PAY IMBALANCE
The average difference between what men and women are paid (this is sometimes called the gender pay gap).

EQUAL PAY
Paying men and women the same pay for the same work. After the Bartlett v Terranova case, this is also thought to include pay equity.

PAY EQUITY
Equal pay for work of equal value.

Equal pay for work of equal value means that, as well as women getting the same pay as men for the same job, women should get the same pay as men for doing a different but comparable job—a job involving comparable skills, years of training, responsibility, effort and working conditions.

This is a policy principle in international conventions ratified by New Zealand, which require government action. This principle is addressed by two New Zealand Acts: the Government Services Equal Pay Act 1960 and the Equal Pay Act 1972, both still in force. Despite this, equal pay for work of equal value is not being delivered. The terms of the Equal Pay 1972 are not being implemented fully by the government.

It’s time to pay the sisters the same as the misters.
It’s time to Treat Her Right

The current gender pay imbalance is 13%. In 2016, women’s average weekly earnings ($432 a week) were 61.1% of men’s earnings ($707 a week).

Based on current figures, it’s going to take 45 years for women before women will be paid equally. And that’s not on.

Equal pay affects everyone: the recent uni grad just starting her first job, the mum who is taking a couple of years out of paid work to raise her children, or the home care worker who gets paid less than a male doing a comparable job. Treat Her Right is about all of us.

The Equal Pay Act 1972 prohibited discrimination of employees’ pay rates based on their sex. It also stipulated men and women in the same job must be paid equally; as well as equal pay for work of equal value for jobs that mainly employ women. However, these terms have not been fully implemented since 1972—shown in our current 13% gender pay imbalance.

“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be a part of your revolution”

— Emma Goldman

It’s taken a long time, and a lot of people, to get to this point.

There are many women like Prue Hyman, feminist economist; Martha Coleman, lawyer; and Elizabeth Tennet, former Labour Party MP. There’s Kristine Bartlett, the rest home worker who brought a pay equity case to the Supreme Court in 2012 and won. They’ve paved the way for us. But there is so much more to be done!

There’s Donna Summer, the 1980s songstress who sings the soundtrack (and the title) for the campaign. She works hard for the money/ so you better treat her right. Summer wrote the song after an encounter she had with an exhausted Los Angeles restroom attendant, Onetta Johnson.

There’s the 200 wahine who turned up in December 2016 to help us film our campaign video. Nurses, undertakers, home care workers, women danced to Summer’s She Works Hard for the Money in a synchronised dance sequence. When the camera rolled, each one lived in their own Beyoncé moment.

Photo: Jinki Cambronero

There are women like Director Loren Taylor and Cinematographer Ginny Loane, who brought Treat Her Right to life on film in the campaign video. Double Denim’s Directors, Angela Meyer and Anna Dean, who devised the Treat Her Right campaign. There’s the crew at Shut Up and Dance, who choreographed the video.

And finally, there’s the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, who commissioned this campaign. Unions are the united voice for working people and their families in New Zealand. They bring together 320,000 New Zealand union members in 31 affiliated unions, and promote unionisation and collectivism through active campaigns. They’re all about equal rights, inclusivity and equal opportunity.

The Treat Her Right campaign exists to inform and educate the public about equal pay, to make sure that the issue of equal pay is high on the government agenda.

 

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Kids explain why women are paid less than men

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Tipping – bad for all, worse for women

Tipping – bad for all, worse for women

If you ever notice that I say chicken oddly, then know that it is because I worked at a fast food outlet called Chick-Inn every Friday night, Saturday day and Sunday night for some time in my teens.  It was probably about a year, but in hindsight it felt like much much longer, especially after the Gypsy Kings CD got stuck in the stereo and was thus on All The Time.  I used to twitch whenever I heard Bamboleo but I’m okay now.

But I digress.

This place did delivery as well as eat-in.  I was a “cashier” which means I was at the counter, took the orders and money, put together drinks, soft-serve ice-cream and jelly cups and other bits that were pre-prepared, gave people their food and often ended up in the kitchen helping out with putting together the burgers and boxes of chicken and cooking stuff and so on.  Dishes were for drivers, yet I ended up often taking their phone orders, preparing their bags and doing those dishes.  I never got a tip over the counter, and that was fine.

Some years later I found out that the drivers used to routinely get tips on the doorstep, sometimes several hours’ pay extra a night.  Never a cent was shared.  This was their due apparently.  Despite the backroom work done by others to get those orders out the door and in to the cars asap there was no acknowledgement of that (and not just in money either but that’s something else).

And guess what?  The drivers were almost all male and those of us working the cashier jobs mainly female.

I’ve worked in other hospo and service jobs too, never as the only money that I needed to survive, luckily.  As someone who did not fit the physical stereotypes for shall we call it extra appreciation (and sadly also harassment) I don’t think I ever got a tip.  Again, that was fine.

It was fine because I was paid a (relatively) fair wage which was not undercut, or reliant upon top ups, from tips.

Hospo and service jobs already have a massive power imbalance and exploitation is rife.  The Customer Is Always Right (even when they harass you or hit you or are unreasonably unreasonable and you want to spit in their food but you don’t or maybe you do but you make sure no one else sees).  Smiles Are Free (but are they really, for the smiler?).

If We Don’t Take Care Of Our Customers Someone Else Will (so give them whatever they want in case they flee and tell all their friends about our awfulness nevermind how they treat you).  And many other Inspirational Customer Service Quotes that reinforce the lowliness of the person doing the serving, and the supremacy of the customer, and the role of the manager as champion of the poor downtrodden arseholes with the money.

And there’s the vicious cycle – you aren’t worth much because you aren’t paid much, and you don’t get much in tips so you are obviously not worth much, and around and around we go.

So yeah, tipping as a way of improving customer service?  Not likely.  Tipping as a way of making those working in hospo and service industries even less powerful and more discriminated against?  Very very likely indeed.

Posted in Women's issues | Tagged | Leave a comment

Submission on Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill

18th May 2017

To the Committee Secretariat, Primary Production Committee
Parliament Building
Wellington
Primary.Production@parliament.govt.nz

Online:

Re: Submission on Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill

Submission

The submission is from the NZ Federation of Business and Professional Women Inc (BPW NZ).

Our Organisation
The International Federation of Business and Professional Women is a global organisation with representatives in over 100 countries, including BPW NZ. Our organisation’s aims are to link professional and business women throughout the world so that they may provide support to each other, lobby for change and to promote the ongoing advancement of women and girls. We work for equal opportunities and status for all women in economic, civil and political life and the removal of discrimination in all countries. We promote our aims and organise our operating structure without distinction as to race, language or religion.

BPW NZ believes that a most optimal and democratic marketplace exists when consumers are well informed. Implementing legislation that enforces Country of Origin Labelling (COOL), means buyers will be able to make decisions to purchase from particular countries or avoid certain countries, for ethical, political or environmental reasons. Our organisation has supported this for over ten years.

BPW NZ policy 19.6.2. (2005) states that members shall:

• Lobby the government to ensure that all meat or meat products on sale in New Zealand carry a label showing the country of origin.

In addition, BPW NZ policy 19.6.3 (2007):

• Urges the Minister of Food Safety to introduce mandatory country of origin labelling on all food products.
For the above reasons, this submission is in support of the proposed Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill.

Country of Origin Labelling
BPW NZ considered this draft legislation from a number of perspectives, considering not just consumers, but New Zealand producers and retailers and our World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitments.

1. New Zealand consumers, producers and retailers: a recent Horticulture NZ and Consumer NZ survey found 71 percent of shoppers believe COOL should be mandatory for fruit and vegetables and that when they look, they only find COOL on fruit and vegetables a third of the time. There is a clear stated preference for the practice and this is supported by the Government’s decision to support the Bill as well as industry associations such as Pork NZ and Beef and Lamb New Zealand, who already voluntarily provide country of origin information on their products.

It is useful to note that 80 per cent of the products this legislation will impact already have COOL. Foodstuffs (owners of PaknSave, New World and Four Square) have had COOL requirements for single ingredient product items since 2007. The fact that single ingredient origin labelling is a standard practice for producers and retailers means the feasibility of this Bill is unquestionable and it is simply ensuring consistency across the marketplace.

BPW NZ supports this bill because a) it means our consumers are better informed, b) it is supported by New Zealander shoppers, producers and retailers; and c) it is highly feasible and encourages equitable practices across the marketplace.

2. International trade commitments: New Zealand is a Party to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). The agreement contains obligations which seek to ensure that government policy does not create unnecessary obstacles to trade. This includes Article 2.1 (national treatment – technical regulations), 2.2 (not more trade-restrictive than necessary) and 2.4 (international standards).

New Zealand is also a signatory of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs 1994 (GATT); it’s objective is to “achieve a substantial reduction in tariffs and to create a mechanism for the implementation and protection of tariff concessions negotiated between the signatories in order to ensure further liberalisation and expansion of global trade”.

There are presently two WTO disputes relating to country of origin labelling, brought by Canada and Mexico respectively against the United States. In the case of DS386 (Mexico) regarding favoritism of products from domestic markets, WTO findings state that the US was:
“according less favourable treatment to imported Mexican cattle than to like domestic products. The Panel also found that the COOL measure does not fulfil its legitimate objective of providing consumers with information on origin”

This confirms that should COOL be applied fairly between domestic and international products and have the objective of providing consumers with information on origin, the WTO accepts the policy.

BPW NZ believes the proposed Bill meets the WTO requirements of being applied fairly and having the objective of providing consumers with information on origin, therefore we find that the legislation does not impact our WTO commitments.

3. New Zealand produce: In 2015, Beef + Lamb New Zealand advised that consumer research found 89% of international consumers consider country of origin when buying beef. Primary industry exports make up 78% of New Zealand’s exports, 16% of national employment, and 10% of GDP. This is a significant part of our economic wellbeing.

COOL, with regard to international trade, puts the onus on producers and retailers to ensure the quality of their product is proven, in order to compete in international markets. Country of origin national bias, in which consumers have a preference for domestic products, is a proven phenomenon. However, New Zealand, with its strong international brand and quality products, can compete with or overcome local bias.

In addition, all of our main trading partners have mandatory COOL for some or all of fruits and vegetables (Australia, the European Union, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and USA). In addition, Australia, the European Union and USA have mandatory COOL for meat. That COOL is already in place in our partner markets puts us at a disadvantage locally – our export products must overcome national bias, but some imported products in New Zealand do not.

BPW NZ supports this Bill because it will benefit our products and businesses internationally and locally.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to our submission and we hope that our comments are of use to you.

On behalf of
New Zealand Federation of Business and professional Women Inc.


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Submission on the Draft Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Exposure Bill

11th May 2017
To the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment

Employment Relations Policy Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment PO Box 1473 Wellington 6140 New Zealand Wellington
E-mail: EmploymentRelations@mbie.govt.nz

Re: Submission on the Draft Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Exposure Bill
The submission is from the NZ Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) Inc.

Our Organisation
BPW (Business Professional Women) is an international organization with representatives in over 100 countries. Our organisation’s aims are to link Professional and business women throughout the world so that they may provide support to each other, lobby for change and promote the ongoing advancement of women and girls. We work for equal opportunities and status for all women in economic, civil, and political life and for the removal of discrimination in all countries. We promote our aims and organise our operating structure without distinction as to race, language, or religion.

International Status:
BPW International has General Consultative Status at the United Nations through the UN Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC). This enables BPW International to appoint official representatives to UN agencies worldwide and to accredit members to attend specific UN meetings.
BPW International upholds the outcomes of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee at state party level. BPW International upholds the outcome documents of the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which evaluates progress, identifies challenges, sets global standards and formulates policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.BPW International also upholds the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1993 and affirms that under

Article 11

Shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular:

(d) The right to equal remuneration, including benefits, and to equal treatment in respect of work of equal value, as well as equality of treatment in the evaluation of the quality of work

Our interest in this Bill is because we are committed to representing the interests of working women and advancing and empowering women in the workplace. This is reinforced by our promotion and administration of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles: Equality Means Business which holds as one of its principles “treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination.”

1. Executive Summary

1.1. BPW NZ strongly disagrees with several key clauses in this Bill and believes that this legislation, in its current form, would be a step backward for the pay equality/equity cause. We believe, for marginalised women in particular, that this legislation would result in further discrimination. We believe there should be a positive duty of care from employers to ensure pay equity, sufficient resourcing of the Employment Relations Authority and the Mediation Service to ensure compliance, and that the issue of occupational gender segregation (for which flexibility around comparators is key) must be addressed fairly.

1.1.1. We prefer to retain existing legislation rather than see this Bill proceed in its present form. We have summarised our reasoning below:

1.1.2. For the past sixty years, BPW NZ has supported and at times provided leadership to the movement to close the gender pay gap. This legislation would undo the historical efforts of hundreds of women and men who have worked to improve pay equality/equity in New Zealand.

1.1.3. This Bill does not honour the intent of New Zealand’s historical pay equality/equity efforts and legislation, such as the Equal Pay Act 1972, the Human Rights Act 1993, the Employment Relations Act 2000, the State Sector Act 1988, and the Crown Entities Act 2004, the findings of the Human Rights Commission’s (HRC) report Tracking Equality at Work, advice from the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW), nor recommendations from the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles.

1.1.4. This legislation does not honour New Zealand’s commitments to support international legislation, such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers of Equal Value (ILO 100), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles.

1.1.5. Particular clauses provide significant cause for concern, such as putting the onus on women, who are often marginalised and under-resourced, to facilitate pay equality/equity action. In addition, the lack of consideration for transparency in the Bill, such as around wage and salary rates, puts employees at a significant disadvantage.

1.1.6. BPW NZ supports bringing together in one place the currently fragmented work, responsibilities and expertise of government agencies, including the monitoring of gender pay inequity as recommended by the CEDAW committee in 2012.

2. BPW NZ

2.1. BPW NZ believes the role of women in the workforce to be integral to the future success of our country. We strive to ensure that young girls of today have equal footing in the workforce of tomorrow. The stagnation of the gender pay gap over the past ten years (http://women.govt.nz/work-skills/income/gender-pay-gap) is evidence that New Zealand needs strong and effective leadership alongside legislation, to improve outcomes for future female workers.

3. BPW NZ and the Gender Pay Gap

3.1. BPW NZ has a long history of working to improve conditions for women in employment. Examples of our work are:

3.1.1. 1959, the National Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity was set up by the Public Service, trade unions, the Federation of University Women (NZFUW), the National Council of Women (NCW) and the New Zealand Federation of Business & Professional Women (BPW NZ), to work for equal pay for work of equal value, and equal opportunity in employment.

3.1.2. 1960, representatives of BPW NZ worked on the Council, lobbying, discussing and making submissions to the Minister of Labour on behalf of working women. This was instrumental in persuading the Government of the day to pass the Government Services Equal Pay Act, which provided for most women working in government positions to receive the same pay as their male counterparts.

3.1.3. 1969, BPW NZ prepared and presented submissions to the Commission of Enquiry into Equal Pay.

3.1.4. 1972, BPW NZ worked towards the establishment of the Equal Pay Act for equity of pay in the private sector.

3.1.5. 1989, BPW NZ adopted a policy that urged the Prime Minister, the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Women’s Affairs to enact legislation before the end of that year, embodying the principles of equal opportunity in appointment, training and promotion, and pay equity in the workforce. Further, that measures be taken to ensure that the necessary resources be available and mechanisms in place, to implement the provision of the Act immediately upon legislation being passed. (Policy 14.4.5.)

3.1.6. 1992, BPW NZ adopted a policy that requested the Ministers of Women’s Affairs, Labour and Employment to undertake a study of how equal pay is being retained within the public and private sectors, given that employment contracts are now required. (Policy 14.4.2.)

3.1.7. 2000, BPW NZ adopted a policy which recognised that the gender pay gap is continuing to widen, to the disadvantage of women. (Policy 14.4.4.)

3.1.8. 2012, BPW NZ with UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand launched the Women’s Empowerment Principles: Equality Means Business.

3.1.9. 2012, BPW International announced its collaboration as a Gender Expert with the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) to bring the voice of women of business as an expert resource on gender diversity.

4. National Gender Pay Gap Commitments

4.1. Historically, the New Zealand government has been working to address the gender pay gap for over fifty years. We believe this legislation not only fails to meet the recommendations of the work below, but undermines efforts that have been achieved to date.

4.1.1. Initial legislation introduced to address the gender pay gap was the Government Service Equal Pay Act (1960), which was intended to ensure “women were to be paid the same as men for doing the same work under the same conditions”. Further legislation that addressed the gender pay gap includes the Equal Pay Act (1972), the Human Rights Act (1993), the Employment Relations Act (2000), the State Sector Act (1988), and the Crown Entities Act (2004). The broad intent of all of this legislation was to “reduce the gender pay gap”. (http://women.govt.nz/workskills/income/gender-pay-gap/what-government-doing)

4.1.2. In 1967, the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) was established and its Committee of Inquiry into the Implementation of Equal Pay in New Zealand provided recommendations which led to the Equal Pay Act. The Committee noted that the narrow distribution of women’s work across occupations contributed to the gender pay gap by enforcing societal views about the value of women’s labour. Fifty years ago, it was identified that it is important to allow flexibility in the use of comparators when addressing an equal pay claim. The proposed Bill does not recognise such flexibility, albeit that this is still relevant and necessary today.

4.1.3. In 2016, the Human Rights Commission issued the Tracking Equality at Work report. Specific recommendations that the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill fails to meet include: 4.1.3.1. that the New Zealand Government legislates pay transparency by requiring companies with more than 250 workers to publicly report on their gender pay and bonus gaps on an annual basis

4.1.4. In 2016, the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles provided recommendations that included:

4.1.4.1. requiring employers to “immediately” notify any other employees that may be similarly affected by (or benefit from) the claim

4.1.4.2. recognising that it is essential that parties have access to adequate resources and information that assists them in their deliberations 4.1.4.3. the provision of information on pay rates by occupation

BPW NZ believes that the above recommendations are not met in the draft Bill.

5. International Gender Pay Gap Commitments

5.1. BPW International has General Consultative Status at the United Nations through the UN Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC). This enables BPW International to appoint official representatives to UN agencies worldwide and to accredit members to attend specific UN meetings.

5.1.1. We present that the New Zealand government has adopted a number of international gender pay gap initiatives. BPW NZ believes achieving the goals of these initiatives will be more difficult under the provisions of the draft Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill because female employees will be further disadvantaged when making pay equity claims than they are under present legislation (discussed in greater detail in the Clauses and Recommendations section of this Submission).

5.1.2. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers of Equal Value (ILO 100) was ratified by MBIE in 2015. ILO 100 requires equal remuneration to be paid to men and women workers for work of equal value without discrimination based on sex and notes that differential wage rates that correspond to differences in job content are not contrary to the principle of equal remuneration.

5.1.3. BPW International upholds the outcomes of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The New Zealand government signed CEDAW in 1980 and ratified the Convention in 1985. Article 11 (d) of the Convention, states that parties shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular “The right to equal remuneration, including benefits”.

5.1.4. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was signed by New Zealand in 1968 and ratified in 1978. Article 7 recognises the right of everyone to “fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind, in particular women being guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men, with equal pay for equal work”.

5.1.5. Ratified by New Zealand in 1948, Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.” Article 23 states that “(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.”

6. Clauses and Recommendations

6.1. There are a number of clauses that are of particular concern to BPW NZ:

Clause 10. Equal pay or unlawful discrimination (non-remuneration) claims
Clause 14. Employee may make pay equity claim
Clause 15. Requirements relating to pay equity claims

6.1.1. These clauses allow an employee (or in the case of pay equity claim, one or more employee) to come forward with an equal pay or pay equity claim and specifies how a pay equity claim must be made. However, this puts the onus on the employee/s to know a) that they may have a basis for a claim; b) to find the time to prepare and submit a claim; and c) risk damaging their relationship with their employer by submitting a claim.

6.1.2. Marginalised women in New Zealand work in low-paid jobs, which may include shiftwork and casual employment agreements. They are often the primary provider of childcare in their household and often are limited by job-security, lack of discretionary income, time and energy.

6.1.3. BPW NZ recommends that the Government put the onus on employers to close the pay gap between men and women; this is reflected in in Clause 8 which states that “an employer must ensure”, however the legislation doesn’t require or incentivise the employer to take any initiative.

6.1.4. The HRC’s Tracking Equality at Work report put forward a recommendation regarding transparency, requiring businesses to report annually on gender pay gaps. This is an approach we believe would be a far more effective way of achieving progress with the gender pay gap and aligns with the Joint Working Group’s recommendation that all parties have access to “resources and information” to assist them with their deliberations.

BPW NZ recommends that Clause 14 be amended to provide resourcing to support women in the process of making a claim as well as requiring employers to provide reporting on occupational pay rates by gender.

6.1.5.

Clause 13. Criteria to be applied
Clause 22. Matters to be assessed
Clause 23. Identifying appropriate comparators

6.1.5.1. Clause 13 and 22 state the criteria that must be considered when assessing an equal pay or pay equality claim. It includes areas such as skills, effort, experience, and responsibility. Clause 23 provides guidelines around the use of comparators, requiring that comparators must first be selected from within the employer’s business, secondly from within a similar business, and thirdly from within the same industry or sector (Clause 23(2)). This ignores the significant occupational gender segregation that exists in New Zealand and will severely limit the options women will have for the basis of their claims. This hamstrings the ability to assess claims across industries and sectors, with the result being the perpetuation of institutional pay discrimination.
BPW NZ recommends that claimants be able to select comparators regardless of whether it is in the same business, sector or industry.

6.1.6. Clause 17. Employer must form view as to whether pay equity claim has merit 6.1.6.1. This allows up to 90 days for employers to determine whether a pay equity claim has merit. This is unduly long.

BPW NZ recommends this be shortened to up to six working days.

6.1.7. Clause 39. Limitation period where pay equity claim is resolved by determination

6.1.7.1. This clause states that the recovery of pay is only allowable up to the date on which the pay equity claim was delivered. Clause 12 allows for a six-year limitation period for equal pay claims. This discriminates against pay equity claimants. Further, should the employer’s actions amount to negligence or malicious intent, Clause 39 severely limits a wronged employee’s ability to be paid compensation and the ability of the Authority to penalise the employer through compensation.
BPW NZ recommends Clause 39 be changed to a six-year limitation period.

6.1.8. Clause 42. Penalties for non-compliance

6.1.8.1. The penalties listed in Clause 42 are far too low. Significantly higher penalties are required to discourage employers from delaying or frustrating claims.

7. The Employment Relations Authority and the Mediation Service

must be properly resourced by government to respond to current and future pay equity claims. Staff will require specialist training on pay equity issues in order to support and advise claimants and employers. The Authority must have access to expert in-house research and evaluation, made available to claimants prior to its use in any determinations.

8. Clause 44. Regulations

8.1.1. Clause 44 allows the Crown to make regulation related to what matters must be taken into account when determining whether a claim has merit, when a claim is being assessed and when identifying appropriate comparators.

8.1.2. BPW NZ does not find the explanatory note satisfactory in explaining why this clause is necessary. We believe this Clause gives rise to the risk that subsequent regulation could change the process and intent of the legislation.

BPW NZ recommends this Clause is removed or changed to ensure the intent of the legislation is protected.

9. Transparency of pay

9.1.1. BPW New Zealand recommends that a clause be added to ensure that the data provided to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment by employers under Section 130 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 also includes gender. The clause should also enable any employee to demand their employer to provide the information as per Section 130 (2) of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

10. Concluding summary

10.1.1. Historically, New Zealand has led the world in the introduction of legislation to support equal rights for women, beginning with the signing of the Electoral Act (1893). Work to close the gender pay gap has come a long way in the past fifty years, but stagnation in the rate of change to this pay gap indicates that there is still more to do. BPW NZ believe this legislation in its current form, would be counterproductive and harmful to women who are victims of pay discrimination. For BPW NZ to support this legislation, we would like it to address New Zealand’s domestic and international commitments to the gender pay gap and honour the findings of the recent Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit our submission and we hope that our comments are of use to you.

On behalf of
New Zealand Federation of Business and professional Women Inc.
Contact detail:-
Hellen Swales 027 528 6799

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Missed opportunity for Govt to support women

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 9:08 pm | Green Party Press Release

Missed opportunity for Govt to support women

Women have been denied the opportunity to know when they are being underpaid, by a Government that is not prioritising women’s issues, the Green Party said today.

“When the Government voted against my bill this evening, they denied women the right to know if they are being underpaid in the workplace,” Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie said.

“My member’s bill would have had employers adding gender to their payroll reporting requirements, and allowed employees access to that aggregated information to see if they are being paid fairly.

“With the gender pay gap stagnating between 12 and 14% percent in New Zealand, we know that we need to do more to see women paid fairly.

“The Government tonight voted against pay transparency measures that would help fix the gender pay gap and would see women paid more.
“When the Government put out their draft Equal Pay Bill, it was a golden opportunity to put in measures like my Bill to help women get paid more. Instead, they have completely redrafted the bill and made it harder for women to get equal pay.
“We can take action to get women paid more, but every step of the way the Government has prioritised reducing fiscal liability over the rights of New Zealand women to a better deal,” Ms Logie said.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1705/S00225.htm

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Theresa Gattung: 100 years on, still waiting for equal pay

Last updated 05:00, May 10 2017
Equal pay campaigners dance in a film shoot for the Treat her right campaign.

Equal pay campaigners dance in a film shoot for the Treat her right campaign.

This column falls into the category of “I can’t believe we are still talking about this stuff”.

Green MP Jan Logie’s Private Member’s Equal Pay Amendment Bill is due before Parliament today.

New Zealand women are paid on average 12 per cent less an hour than men. Most of this difference can’t be explained away by arguments such as education or time out of the workforce bringing up children.

Women are getting paid less because they are women. And it’s not getting any better.

There has been no progress on closing the gap in recent years. Equal pay for jobs that are of equal skill, responsibility and stress should not be controversial. But this Bill doesn’t go that far; it will simply require employers to add gender as a payroll reporting requirement and allow staff to request access to this information at an aggregated level.

This is hardly revolutionary. Norway, Sweden and Finland have had income transparency in place for some time. And in Britain, from next year, businesses with over 250 employees must disclose what they are paying in salaries to their male and female staff. Ahead of the new law some companies in Britain are already releasing this data. As recently reported by Bloomberg, some of the companies who have done this, such as Virgin Money and SSE, have found in uncovering the gender pay discrepancies a commitment to do something about it.

Here in New Zealand, the public sector has demonstrated leadership with the State Services Commission publishing the gender pay gap data of Government departments, and the sky hasn’t fallen in.

This Bill would mean the private sector would be required to have greater pay transparency as well. There has been too much secrecy in the workplace for women to find out if they are being paid less for doing the same job in the same workplace. What gets measured gets attention.

The difficulties faced by women are at all ends of the income range. Data released recently showed 87 per cent of NZX company directors are male. Just 13 per cent are female. And that ratio has widened in the past year.

The gender pay gap is an old issue which is long overdue for a solution. Indeed, after Kate Sheppard and her colleagues secured votes for women in 1893 following a 14 year campaign they identified their next two highest priorities as: pushing for the right of women to become MPs; and equal pay for work of equal value.

It took more than a further 25 years, until 1919, to achieve the first goal and, 100 years on from then, women are still waiting for the second. This Bill is the lightest legislative touch possible that would make a meaningful difference.

And in the meantime we have come to take for granted the other things those earlier feminists campaigned for: the economic independence of married women; men and women both being able to get custody of children upon divorce; a wider range of occupations and professions being open to women.

But still we accept pay inequity.

Come on Parliament, and Government in particular, you did the right the thing with care workers in the low-paid, women-dominated industries. Do the right thing here.

 – The Dominion Post

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Submission on Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Bill

28th April 2017

To the Committee Secretariat, Justice and Electoral
Parliament Building  Wellington

Online:
Re: Submission on Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Bill

Submission:
The submission is from the NZ Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) Inc.

Our Organisation
BPW (Business Professional Women) is an international organization with representatives in over 100 countries. Our organisation’s aims are to link Professional and business women throughout the world so that they may provide support to each other, lobby for change and promote the ongoing advancement of women and girls. We work for equal opportunities and status for all women in economic, civil, and political life and for the removal of discrimination in all countries. We promote our aims and organise our operating structure without distinction as to race, language, or religion.

International Status:
BPW International has General Consultative Status at the United Nations through the UN Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC). This enables BPW International to appoint official representatives to UN agencies worldwide and to accredit members to attend specific UN meetings.
BPW International upholds the outcomes of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee at state party level. BPW International upholds the outcome documents of the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which evaluates progress, identifies challenges, sets global standards and formulates policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.
BPW International also upholds the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1993 and affirms that “violence against women

constitutes a violation of the rights and fundamental freedoms of women and impairs or nullifies their enjoyment of those rights and freedoms “.1

BPW NZ Policy 18.5.4.
Urges Parliament, the Leaders of all Parties, and all government departments to work together to strengthen themselves and ensure that there are well-resourced long-term cross-party, cross department strategies that collaborate with relevant members of civil society, to change social norms and eliminate violence against women and families.
BPW believes this Bill will be a step toward achieving the above-mentioned policy.

General comments: Domestic Violence—Victims’ Protection Bill
BPW NZ congratulates MP Jan Logie on the introduction of this important and potentially lifesaving legislation. BPW NZ supports this legislation as an important step toward assisting victims of domestic violence and its subsequent impact and cost to our businesses.

Submission
1. Domestic violence is a significant and deadly problem in New Zealand:

• In the four years from 2009 to 2012, an average of 13 women, 10 men, and 9 children were killed each year because of family violence;

• There were over 110,000 family violence investigations recorded in 2015;

• 1 in 3 women experience physical and/or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime; .

• 76 per cent of recorded assaults against females are committed by an offender that is identified as family;

• 14% of young people report being hit or physically harmed intentionally by an adult at home in the last 12 months;

• Family violence is estimated to cost the country between $4.1 and $7 billion each year.2

2. BPW NZ acknowledges this bill for recognising the importance of employment for victims of domestic violence. Some of the many reasons why a victim of domestic violence finds it more difficult to stay in work include: increased absences, home life causing distraction in the workplace, or a violent partner emotionally manipulating a victim while they are at work.

Employment is particularly important to a victim for their sense of self-worth and financial stability. Losing employment could impact a victim’s ability to leave a violent relationship.

3. BPW NZ acknowledges the significant impact of domestic violence on employers. Domestic violence costs New Zealand businesses millions of dollars per year in reduced productivity, alongside recruitment, retention, re-training, and health and safety costs.3 As an advocacy group for business and professional women and business owners, BPW supports this bill for the value it can achieve for employers, as well as for victims and their families. It is much less expensive to retain an employee than to hire a new employee and this Bill encourages employees and employers to find a way to keep victims of domestic violence in employment.

Conclusion

BPW NZ believes this Bill could have several essential consequences:

• Raising awareness. This Bill brings the issue of domestic violence into the workplace. Whether requiring workplaces to offer flexible working arrangements or offering paid leave for victims (among other provisions). It suggests to victims that they are entitled to consideration and support. It reminds employers to be considerate of victims. The best scenario would be for the bill to enable anyone concerned about domestic violence to seek external advice, (such as from areyouok.org.nz) to help us all, as a nation, tackle this significant issue.

• Reducing costs for employers. The Bill encourages employers and victims of domestic violence to seek an arrangement that enables the victim to stay in employment and work in a safe environment. By tackling the issue of domestic violence as a whole, hopefully fewer cases will occur in the future. This will result in directly reducing turnover costs for businesses and potentially preventing decreased productivity in the workplace.

• Employability of victims. The Bill provides for businesses to offer alternative arrangements for victims. This better enables victims to stay in work and maintain consistency in their work-life that can be crucial for their wellbeing, where there is upheaval in their personal life.

• Breaking the domestic violence cycle. The financial means and sense of self-worth that employment offers, are crucial to enabling victims to leave or otherwise change a cycle of domestic violence.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to our submission and we hope that our comments are of use to you.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to our submission and we hope that our comments are of use to you.

On behalf of
New Zealand Federation of Business and professional Women Inc.


1 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, G.A. Res. 48/104, U.N. Doc. A/RES/48/104 (Feb. 23, 1994)

2 Ministry of Social Development, areyouok.org.nz/family-violence/statistics

3 Public Services Association; Productivity Gains from Workplace Protection of Victims of Domestic Violence 

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