Economy

Government to sink law preventing more women claiming equal pay

Suzanne McNabb, the TEU's national women's officer, said: "We congratulate the government on taking action so promptly on their commitment to equal pay for work of equal value". What we're expecting is a "no surprises" law that does exactly what it says it's going to do - pay women for their skills, effort, responsibilities and conditions of work, as quickly as possible. National introduced the Bill knowing it would make it more hard for women to achieve equal pay and ever since working people have been standing together to demand better.

"The current legislation diminishes the opportunity for people to make a pay equity claim, and we were clear that if we were elected then it would be the end of the line for this Bill". However, it was always a necessary first step for the new government to take in order to deliver on its commitment to genuine equal pay.

Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter said the legislation was deliberately created to put barriers in the way of women who wanted to make a pay equity claim, and would be replaced.

Women who were putting in a pay equity claim would have to first compare their wages with male workers in the same business or sector, like in age-care worker Kristine Bartlett's court case where TerraNova tried to compare her wages to that of the company's male gardeners.

The Government confirms it will scrap a bill created to stop other low wage workers piggy-backing on the successful Care and Support Workers' claim.

The Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill was introduced to Parliament in July, following a multi-billion-dollar settlement with aged care workers, and aimed to ensure equality in pay rates for female-dominated jobs.

"The Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill was used by the Government to throw further hurdles under the feet of women who have been legally entitled to equal pay since 1972".



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