Work for women harder to find, more insecure, lower paid and with fewer entitlements: ABS report

Work for women harder to find, more insecure, lower paid and with fewer entitlements: ABS report

Women are more likely to be in part time or casual work, are less likely have full entitlements, and are still bearing the overwhelming majority of parenting and or caring responsibilities according to the ABS Gender Indicators Report released this morning.

The average female adult weekly earnings stands at just 69% of the male equivalent – this has not moved in a decade.

The average super balance on retirement for women is $96,000 compared to $166,000 for men.

A higher proportion of women are underemployed, they’d like more work but simply can’t get it.

The release of this updated data confirms that the system is rigged against working women.  Forced into insecure forms of work, with few or no rights and entitlements, and bearing the main load for parenting and caring means that the gender pay gap persists and women’s retirement security is tenuous at best.

The Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison government and new IR Minister Kelly O’Dwyer refuse to believe or act on the systemic flaws which ensure women earn less and potentially retire in poverty.

Tinkering around the edges and focusing on women on boards is not going to help the millions of low paid women in highly vulnerable and insecure forms of work.  No matter how much we increase the number of women CEO’s it is not going to address the fact that industries and sectors that are dominated by women continue to be inherently undervalued.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:  

“These figures show massive inequality in the quality and amount of work that women have access to in Australia. This needs to change.

“The gender gaps for wages, super, insecure work and workforce participation are significant and are not closing. This government has sat on its hands while this crisis has persisted.

“We have to change the rules for working women. We need changes to the bargaining system and new powers for the Fair Work Commission to help close the gender pay gap and end sexual harassment and violence in the workplace, paid family and domestic violence leave, extended parental leave, flexible working arrangements for carers, this government has also done nothing to provide sector and multi-employer bargaining.

“The Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison government deny they can make systemic changes to close the gender pay gap and they continue to do nothing to assist working women to achieve equality.”