ACTU welcomes historic publication of gender pay gap across Australia

Media Release - February 27, 2024

The ACTU today welcomed the historic publication of the gender pay gap in individual companies and organisations of over 100 employees. 

The unions movement has campaigned for equal pay and workplaces free of discrimination, and the publicising of the ongoing gender pay gap is an important tool for change.

The publication of the gender pay gap in nearly 5,000 employers is result of important reforms passed by the Albanese Government last year.

This year, the overall national gender pay gap improved to 19%, as a result of union victories for women workers, including historic increases to the minimum wage and improvements in wages in aged care workers funded by the Albanese Government.

For the first time, gender equality is an objective of workplace laws, and the gender pay gap will be under scrutiny in the Fair Work Commission in a review looking at around 1.1million workers in female dominated occupations under award conditions.

The ACTU notes that over 50% of the workplaces that have reported have a pay gap of over 9%.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Unions have campaigned for equality and for workplaces free from discrimination, and today’s publication of the gender pay gap in individual businesses is a result of the work by many women over many years.

Improvements to the gender pay gap are a result of union campaigns and good policy by the Federal Government but many companies and industries have significant work to do.

Publicising the gender pay gap is a tool that works – it shines a light on entrenched practices and structural inequalities that see women in the lowest paid positions and being concentrated in occupations and jobs with low wages.

The improvement in the gender gap is welcome, but there is more work to do.  The pay gap is symptomatic of work done mainly by women being undervalued, and the evidence is that women with less security and less bargaining power are more subject to hostile and unsafe work practices. 

Improving the pay and conditions of working women is good for equality, good for economic policy, and good for our society.”

The ACTU Network

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