N E W S Integrated approach needed to eliminate gender pay gap Reducing the gender pay gap in New Zealand requires an integrated approach, and the Government and business community will need to rely on a variety of strategies, says Diversity Works NZ chief executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie. Ms Cassidy-Mackenzie has welcomed new research commissioned by the Ministry for Women that shows that the difference in the earnings of men and women can’t be explained by differences in education, occupation, industry type or hours worked. The report, indicates that 80% of the gender pay gap is caused by factors such as conscious and unconscious bias, and the differences in behaviour between men and women. “These findings are in line with international research and reinforce the message we have been sending to local businesses in recent years,” says Ms Cassidy-Mackenzie. “But it’s invaluable to have New Zealand-based research to draw on and Minister Bennett should be commended for investing in this study.” One of the first steps to closing the gender gap, which sits at 12% and appears to have stalled in the past decade, is helping organisations understand the difference between pay equality and pay equity, she says. “This is not about paying a female and male employee with the same skills and experience an equal wage for the same work; it’s about looking at the complex factors that have resulted in women, on average, being paid less per hour than men.” www.engineeringnews.co.nz 7 Business group: employers to get ducks in a row on workplace drugs New high strength bolting standard Developed by a joint Australian and New Zealand technical committee and released late last year, there are now new high strength bolting standards, AS/NZS 1252.1:2016 AND AS/NZS 1252.2:2016, in two parts. AS/NZS 1252.1:2016 High strength steel fastener assemblies for structural engineering – Bolts, nuts and washers. Part 1: Technical requirements. The main technical changes incorporated in the new Part 1 relate to updated testing and conformity requirements, and the inclusion of a specific nominated European Fastener Standard as a ‘deemed to satisfy’ alternative product as well as an additional assembly type. These changes are designed to improve procurement outcomes in the New Zealand marketplace. AS/NZS 1252.1:2016 High strength steel fastener assemblies for structural engineering – Bolts, nuts and washers. Part 2 – Verification testing for bolt assemblies. This companion Standard to Part 1 gives provisions for the verification testing of high-strength steel bolt assemblies for structural engineering for suppliers, specifiers and third-party certification bodies; to instil confidence in the product’s conformity with the requirements of Part 1. LOADS OF EXTRA MULTIMEDIA CONTENT SIGN UP FOR YOUR FREE eMag www.engineeringnews.co.nz The judges also said the UC team’s approach to the competition transcended the challenge of minimising energy use by focusing on how the materials we consume also have an impact on the environment. The UC eco-car’s design paid due care to driver safety and comfort, and the car itself was commendably well finished and built to the highest standard seen by the judges, the citation added. “Ultimately, the EnduroKiwi car was eye-catching enough to make passers-by stop and look, but the way it was built should also prompt observers to stop and think.” Every year, Shell Eco-marathon sees about 5,000 student participate, applying their skills and getting handson training and knowledge in the field of low-carbon mobility. The competition inspires the engineers of the future to turn their vision of sustainable mobility into reality and sparks passionate conversation about energy efficiency and what could be possible for cars on the road. The Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) urges business leaders to ensure they are on solid ground on the issue of drug abuse in the workplace, by having policies and procedures firmly in place and embedded in company cultures. The Prime Minister says several businesses a week complained to him about their problems getting Kiwi workers to pass a drugs test. He went on to say that one of the hurdles these days is just passing a drugs test, especially our young people. Various groups have disputed the Prime Minister’s claim. However, EMA’s chief executive, Kim Campbell, says, “The Prime Minister’s right - it is an issue and we hear anecdotal evidence to this effect from our members regularly - especially in relation to drugs and existing employees. “It’s all very well quoting government statistics which seem to minimise the issue, but as a business leader representing more than 4000 companies from Taupo northwards, I can tell you those figures are just plain wrong. My advice to Government departments is to get better data, and we are prepared to help with that task.” The EMA also encourages all its members to put in place a clearly-understood drugs and alcohol policy, and embed it in their contracts with workers. “The risks are a fact of life of operating a business in New Zealand in 2017 and we encourage all our members to take this step in the interests of mitigating what can be very serious health and safety risks in the workplace.” The EMA also advises members that if they conclude that health and safety risks are elevated with respect to drugs and alcohol in their workplaces, they should move to the next level and consider the range of options such as random testing in the workplace and testing at the prospective employee stage, ie, before an employment contract is offered. Help is available for the creation of appropriate drug and alcohol policies as well as access to drug testing regimes, through membership of the EMA.
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