Labor to offer fair wages and conditions for working women

An Albanian Labor government will make gender pay equity a goal of the Fair Work Law and strengthen the powers of the Fair Work Commission to mandate wage increases for workers in low-wage, female-dominated industries.

One of the main causes of the gender pay gap is low pay and poor conditions in care sectors, such as care for the elderly, early childhood care and education, and care for people with disabilities, where the vast majority of workers are women.

Care work is undervalued, underpaid and increasingly less secure. This makes it difficult to attract the thousands of new carers we need and keep those already working in the sector in their jobs.

Right now, our workplace relations system is struggling to provide fair wages and conditions for working women and those in care sectors.

Equal pay provisions have been described as “expensive, time consuming, highly adversarial and overwhelmingly ineffective”. There have been 21 requests for equal pay orders since 1994, but only one successful order.

Workers will ensure that our workplace relations system can deliver on working women by introducing a statutory Equal Pay Principle, as they have done in Queensland, to guide how the Commission considers rights. equal pay cases.

We will also establish a new Care and Community Sector Expert Panel and Pay Equity Expert Panel to strengthen expertise within the Commission on gender pay equity and work in the care sector.

The new Expert Panels will hear equal pay cases in relation to the Pay Equity Panel and adjudicate cases related to the care sector for the Care and Community Sector Expert Panel. The Panels will be supported by a dedicated investigation unit.

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If we want to meet the future demand of thousands more workers in the care sectors, we must offer secure jobs that are highly valued and fairly paid. Labor reforms will help achieve this.

Quotes attributable to Anthony Albanese:

“The principle that men and women should receive the same pay for the same work is very obvious, and yet the gender pay gap remains too wide. A government that I lead will take action to close this gap, ensuring that women and those who work in the care sector receive the pay and conditions they deserve.”

Quotes attributable to Tony Burke:

“Only Labor will introduce a legal principle of equal pay to ensure that the Fair Work Commission is required to consider the need for equal pay for men and women. This is in addition to our reforms to tackle insecure work, which will help Australians get good, safe jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Tanya Plibersek:

“Women don’t want special treatment, they just want equality. The Morrison government has continually failed Australian women. The Liberals have done next to nothing to address the gender pay gap over the last decade in office, and it’s clear they never will. Only Labor will act to improve pay equity in Australia.”

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