Gender pay gap announcement a good first step

Gender pay gap announcement a good first step

The peak body for working people has acknowledged the ALP’s gender pay gap announcement as an important step towards fair pay for women within organisations.

The ALP announced today that

- company-specific gender pay gap data would be released to the public

- taking adverse action against people for disclosing their pay to their colleagues would be illegal

- companies who didn’t release their data would be unable to tender for government contracts

- all government departments would be required to conduct gender pay audits within the first year of a Labor government

The announcement represents a solid foundation for exposing the gender pay gap in comparable positions within organisations and industries.

Closing the gender pay gap will require additional changes to industrial laws which currently fail many working women.

This must include allowing collective bargaining beyond the enterprise.

More work must be done to ensure that workers in feminised industries and occupations, which are systematically undervalued, are able to secure fair pay rises that close the gender pay gap.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Today’s announcement is an important step towards exposing the gender pay gap. Employers will no longer be able to punish people for the simple act of discussing their pay with one another.

“Companies will have to be publicly accountable for their performance on gender pay equity.

“Alongside these good announcements working women need measures to combat the systematic society-wide undervaluation of work done by women. This must include moving away from reliance on the narrow and failing enterprise bargaining system.

“A move towards sector bargaining would also stop companies engaging in a race to the bottom on pay in feminised industries.”