Speakers: Stephanie Nichols, Sophie Cossens from the Gender Pay Gap Taskforce

Host: Auckland GWN

Venue: Zoom

Date: 29th July 2020

Attendance: Approx. 22


Te Aka Wāhine o Tāmaki/Auckland GWN was delighted to host Principal Advisor, Stephanie Nichols, and Sophie Cossens, Senior Advisor from the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan Taskforce, State Services Commission.

Stephanie and Sophie spoke to us about the Taskforce’s Flexible-Work-by-Default Guidance, which has recently been published on the SSC website.

Key takeaways:

Milestones and Progress:

  • By the end of 2020, all agencies will have closed any GPG within the same roles; at the end of 2019, 22 agencies had achieved this
  • By the end of 2020, all agencies will be flexible by default; at present 23 agencies are piloting flexible-by-default working
  • Women now hold 50% of roles in the top three tiers of leadership
  • The public sector GPG has reduced
  • Guidance released on removing bias from recruitment policies and practices.
  • Guidance being developed on remuneration, and career breaks, progression and leave.

What types of flexible work is there?

  • Flexible hours e.g. different start and finish times; working a mix of short and long days or weeks ​
  • Part-time work, including phased return to work after career breaks or progressively reduced hours in the lead up to retirement​
  • Compressed weeks or fortnights​
  • Remote working e.g. from home or another office some or all the time
  • Flexible leave e.g. buying additional leave.

And what is flexible by default?

  • A fair and consistent approach that ​works for agency, teams and employees​
  • Doesn't undermine career or pay progression​
  • Evolution rather than a revolution – ​lots of agencies working toward this and ​many types are already common​
  • Not just working from home and not ​remote working in a crisis.

The guidance

  • Recommends a process for moving to flex-by-default – not an overnight thing
  • Engagement with managers, employees and unions is one of the recommended steps.


There’s plenty more information on the Taskforce’s webpage,  including the Flexible work by default guidance and the team are always happy to field questions via email.

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