November 04, 2014
Case to test double disadvantage
A court case on the payment of aged care workers could also affect pay rates in sectors dominated by Maori and Pacific workers.
The Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal by rest home operator TerraNova against a case by one of its workers alleging that gender discrimination was a factor in the low pay rates in the sector.
Unless it is appealed to the Supreme Court, the case will go back to the Employment Court to look at other industries to see what men doing comparable work are paid.
Legal commentator Mai Chen says given the make up of the aged care workforce, it might also throw up questions about double disadvantage.
"So it would be interesting when you look at the historical structure of discrimination whether you find that below the white woman category there is coloured woman category and they get paid even less. It will be interesting to see if the court takes that into account in determining how much more these coloured women should be paid, particularly in professions that are not only predominantly women but coloured women." she says.
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