Plan to address inequity for women
Australian unions have launched a campaign to address the inequity women have long-faced in the workplace.
The Changing the Rules for Working Women Report released by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) this month presented a clear pathway to reduce inequity in our workplaces.
The report highlighted that women are increasingly locked out of a secure retirement, make up the majority of minimum wage reliant workers and are more likely to be employed in insecure work.
In Australia women are paid 14.6 percent less than men and they retire with 43 percent less superannuation.
Key recommendations from the report include:
- The abolition of the concept of “primary” and “secondary” carers, to be replaced by 26 weeks’ parental leave that a family can decide to use however they want;
- The removal of restrictions in the bargaining system that prevent women earning a fair wage;
- Removing restrictions on bargaining so women can negotiate with someone who has the capacity to say yes to a fair pay rise;
- The payment of superannuation on every dollar that women earn, including on paid parental leave;
- Stronger powers for the Fair Work Commission to proactively tackle gender inequality, including establishing a new expert Gender Equality Panel, giving the Commission the power to hear and determine sexual harassment and sex discrimination claims, and implementing stronger pay equity provisions;
- The right for employees with parenting and carer responsibilities to receive – not merely request – family friendly working hours;
- The provision of ten days paid family and domestic violence leave;
- The restoration and protections of penalty rates; and
- A proper definition of casual work.
ACTU President Michele O’Neil said our workplace rules and structures let women down.
“Working women power this country, through both paid and unpaid labour.
“Our workplace rules and structures let women down. Women face an unfair, uphill battle at every turn. Women are paid 14.6 percent less than men, and are retiring with less, often in poverty.
“We are fighting to change the rules to make work fair for women. This research sets out a clear path we must take. We must fix bargaining so that women are negotiating with real decision makers who have the capacity to say yes to fair pay rises.
“It’s up to our leaders to show the courage and strength required to make work fair for women.”
To become involved in the Change The Rules campaign, visit www.changetherules.org.au