Federal Labor’s Fair Pay for Women Package

On 8 March 2021, for International Women’s Day, Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese, Shadow Minister for Women Tanya Plibersek and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Tony Burke announced a raft of election commitments to improve pay equity and job security for Australian women.

This comes one month after Albanese unveiled Labor’s new Industrial Relations policy titled the Secure Australian Jobs Plan which seeks to strengthen protections for insecure workers.

Closing the gender pay gap:

Australian women earn, on average, $242 less than men each week equating to a 13.4% gap in total wages. If elected, an Albanese Labor government will implement a number of reforms to address the gender pay gap, these include:

  1. Legislation to compel companies with more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap publicly.
  2. Prohibit pay secrecy clauses and give employees the right to disclose their pay, if they want to.
  3. Addressing the 7.3 per cent pay gap in the Australian Public Service.
  4. Strengthen the ability and capacity of the Fair Work Commission to order pay increases for workers in low paid, female dominated industries.
  5. Improve the National Employment Standards by legislating ten days paid family and domestic violence leave.

Labor’s plan will see data from companies published on a searchable website. Companies with more than 1,000 staff

will need to publish their data within two years, while smaller businesses will be added to the transparency tool

within four years. The data would cover the company’s overall pay gap, plus both managerial and non – managerial pay gaps.

This announcement builds on Labor’s commitment to make childcare cheaper for families by lifting the maximum subsidy rate to 90 per cent and scrapping the $10,560 subsidy cap.

Labor’s Secure Australian Jobs Plan:

Last month, Albanese unveiled the Industrial Relations policy Labor will take to the next election.

The Labor leader noted that the “the economy is evolving” and that “workplace laws must evolve with it”, in order to

ensure working Australians have continued access to basic entitlements.

If elected, Labor will secure portable entitlements for casual and ‘gig-economy’ workers, alongside support for established workers entitlements such as superannuation and parental leave. Federal Labor’s latest Industrial Relations (IR) policy calls for:

  • ‘Job security’ explicitly inserted into the Fair Work Act.
  • Rights for gig economy workers through the Fair Work Commission.
  • Portable entitlements for workers in insecure industries.
  • Casual work properly defined in law.
  • Stricter regulation on labour hire firms.
  • Capping back-to-back short-term contracts.
  • Ending inappropriate temporary contracts in the Public Sector.
  • Conducting Government procurement with companies and organisations that offer secure work.

You can read Hawker Britton’s Occasional Paper on Federal Labor’s Industrial Relations Policy here.

For more information, please contact your Hawker Britton consultant Simon Banks on +61 419 638 587. Further Hawker Britton Occasional Papers on the activities of the Federal Opposition are available here.

Download the Paper

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