There are significant challenges facing women in the workplace – and it hits home every pay day. Women still face a 17.5 per cent gender pay gap – women workers across all industries take home on average almost one-fifth less in every pay packet than men.
Labor has always come first on fairness. It goes to the very core of our being. So we’ve worked hard to get the ball rolling on equal pay.
In 2009 we backed equal pay for social and community sector workers. Labor committed to fund its share of wage increases of between 23 per cent and 45 per cent. Around 150,000 workers – including 120,000 women – will benefit as a result of Fair Work Australia’s historic pay equity decision in February 2012. The new pay rates commenced on 1 December 2012.
Equal pay is only the beginning.
Federal Labor has put in place many more reforms to help build a fair society and stronger community. Here’s how:
- Employers will measure and report their progress on gender equality over time under the new Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
- On average women retire with 40 per cent less superannuation than men. Labor started to increase the Superannuation Guarantee from 9-12 per cent on July 1 this year, which will help 4.1 million women. And 2.1 million women on low incomes will get a boost to their super balance of up to $500 a year through the Low Income Super Contribution.
- We’ve delivered national Paid Parental Leave so families don’t have to make the difficult choice between time with a new baby and covering all the bills.
- Labor is delivering affordable, flexible and high quality child care so working parents have a real choice and better care for their children.
- We’ve locked in more protection for women and men against discrimination and sexual harassment through amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act.
There’s more to do, no doubt about that. But Labor will always be there for a fair workplace and a stronger community – Labor delivers.