Labor pledges to address gender pay gap
In a policy announcement at the triennial Labor National Conference, held in Adelaide earlier this week, the party committed to prioritising pay equity for Australian women under a Shorten Labor government. The commitment would compel the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to design a series of reforms to reduce the national gender pay gap, including writing pay equity into the FWC’s central objectives as well as requiring the commission to consider gender disparities when making pay orders.
The proposed policy would target female dominated industries, including early childhood education, aged care, disability services, and social workers. According to a statement released by Labor, on average, a woman working full time will earn around $27,000 per year less than a man. This is an average of about a 15 percent difference in pay, a gap Labor has described as “stubbornly high”.
IEU has been fighting a legal battle to have early childhood teachers’ pay adjusted to reflect the pay of those in similar, male dominated industries. This policy reinforces IEU’s position on gender equality issues for members. The Union is seeking significant pay increases for teachers working in early childhood education.
The 2018 Global Gender Gap Report, released yesterday, shows Australia has dropped 15 places down the world ranking on wage equality over the last 5 years, putting us now in 39thplace.