The Turnbull Government is penalising working women with harsh policies that are gross infringements on women’s workforce participation.

Every day, working women are being hit with a gender penalty made up of policies that disproportionately affect women.

The fronts on which the Turnbull Government is waging war with women range from penalty rates, paid parental leave and paid domestic violence leave to flexible workplaces, childcare, pay equity and dignity in retirement.

• Women will be disproportionately affected by slashing penalty rates. Women make up 54.7% of the accommodation and food services and 54.6 % of retail workforces, according to ABS data.

• Domestic Violence leave: Two-thirds of those that experience domestic violence each year are in paid employment.

• Pensions and retirement: On average women retire with approximately half the level of retirement savings of men. 70% of retired women rely on the pension as their main income source.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:

“Today, on International Women’s Day, the Australian Council of Trade Unions is releasing a checklist of the ways the Turnbull Government is punishing female workers by denying them adequate working conditions that reflect contemporary life.”

“The recent cuts to penalty rates are a standout issue where the Turnbull Government has turned its back on women in the workplace.”

“Women are more likely to rely on penalty rates to meet household expenses and are more likely to be sole parents or on incomes of less than $30,000, according to research by the Centre for Work and Life at the University of South Australia.”

“Despite Minister for Women Michaelia Cash’s assertions that she’s working for women, her government’s failure to make a submission to the Fair Work Commission on penalty rates, or the case still before the commission concerning Domestic Violence Leave, shows her lack of commitment.”


Media contact: Antonia Acott 0418 793 885 or ACTU Media 03 9664 7315

See checklist attached.