Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Women's battle for equal pay continues

ALMOST 40 years after it became unlawful to pay women less than men for equal work of equal value, women are still earning on average $196 a week less than men.

"To match the average wage a man earns in 12 months in the financial year working full time ordinary hours, a woman has to work an extra 54 days, or a total of 14 weeks, to earn the same,'' Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency director Anna McPhee said.

Today, 54 days after the end of the financial year, has been declared Equal Pay Day by those fighting to end pay inequity.

Ms McPhee's agency is calling on employers to mark the day by holding a pay audit in their workplaces.

She wants employers to ensure they have transparent pay scales and promotion criteria, a meaningful work valuation assessment and flexible work practices for all staff.

The Federal Government has established a parliamentary inquiry into pay equity, which is due to begin soon, and the ACTU is calling for annual reporting of gender pay data by all employers.

Ms McPhee said the 15.6 per cent gender wage gap reveals the systemic discrimination and under-valuation of women's work and believes the inequity hurts not just women but their families and society as a whole.

No comments: