Saturday, May 15

Labor pledges to force companies to detail the gender pay gap | International Women’s Day


Labor will use International Women’s Day to promise greater transparency about the gender pay gap in Australia, promising legislation that requires companies to publicly report their data.

The Labor Party’s new political commitment comes as the Morrison government continues to fight intense public anger sparked by the rape charge brought by former liberal staff member Brittany Higgins, and a separate, categorically denied, sexual assault charge against Attorney General Christian Porter.

ABC has now confirmed that it will air another show titled Bursting the Canberra Bubble on Monday night, the second show in a series, which will keep the ongoing controversy firmly in the public spotlight.

Labor on Monday will unveil new gender pay initiatives. Labor leader Anthony Albanese will say that if the opposition wins the next federal election, the Labor Party will establish a gender pay equity search portal that will post the corporate gender pay gap and managerial and non-managerial pay gaps.

Currently, companies report gender pay data to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), but the results of individual companies are not made public. Albanese said Labor, if elected, will legislate to ensure public reporting, while banning pay secrecy clauses that prevent some employees from disclosing their pay.

The labor sector also promises to strengthen the Fair Labor Commission’s ability to order wage increases for workers in low-paid and female-dominated industries, and to take action to address the gender pay gap in the Australian public service.

After abandoning an initial proposal to examine workplace issues internally, the Morrison government has now recruited Australia’s sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins to lead a review of workplace culture in parliament. in response to Higgins’ rage.

Jenkins told ABC on Sunday that he believed Australia was now “at a tipping point” in the public conversation about sexual harassment and assault. “In my time working in this area and particularly searching job sites for more than 30 years, I have never seen a moment like this,” he said.

While the sex discrimination commissioner will spearhead the investigation into workplace culture sparked by Higgins’s allegation that she was raped by a colleague in the ministerial wing of the House of Parliament in March 2019, Four Corners will do so the Monday night. Broadcast calls for an independent investigation. in the controversial rape charge against Christian Porter. Friends of the now-deceased woman who accused Porter of raping her in 1988 have told the show that such an investigation would stop what has been labeled a “trial by the media.”

Porter, who took mental health leave, categorically denies the rape charge. Defense Minister Linda Reynolds, who was Higgins’s employee at the time the sexual assault is alleged to have occurred in her office, also extended her period of medical leave to treat a heart condition, meaning she will not be on Parliament for the Front Senate estimates hearings at the end of March.

So far, the government has resisted calls for an independent investigation into complaints made against the attorney general, stating that the rule of law must be respected.

But Labor, Greens and crusader advocates support a remote investigation, and legal and business experts insist there is no “rule of law” issue with Porter in the face of an independent investigation into a sexual assault charge.

Earlier this week, the NSW police ended an investigation into the allegations, saying there was “insufficient admissible evidence.” The author died in 2020 and the South Australian medical examiner has kept open the possibility of a coronary investigation.

The new labor policy on reporting the gender pay gap would give companies the option to provide a statement explaining their pay gap and their actions to address it.

The proposal would also include reporting. Very large companies with more than 1,000 employees would be required to report within two years, and other companies within four years.

Last year, the WGEA director warned that Australian employers were on automatic pilot when it comes to promoting pay equity. Libby Lyons pointed to a “worrying” decline in the number of employers taking remedial action to address gender pay gaps.

In a statement, Albanese said: “Research shows that Australian women working for companies that report to the WGEA earn, on average, $ 25,534 less than men each year and face a 20% gap in total wages.

“The situation is only getting worse.”

In Australia, the crisis support service Life line en 13 11 14. If you or someone you know is affected by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. International helplines can be found through www.befrienders.org


www.theguardian.com

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