SENATOR CLAIRE MOORE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CARERS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES
SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND
TONY ABBOTT, DON'T GO BACKWARDS ON GENDER PAY REPORTING
Australia's Minister for Women, Tony Abbott, must make clear his commitment to closing the gender pay gap and rule out weakening the current gender reporting framework, Shadow Minister for Women Claire Moore said today.
The Abbott Government is currently reviewing the current employer gender reporting requirements, introduced by the former Labor Government.
"There is no question that a gender pay gap exists. According to the ABS it is currently 17.1 per cent and has hovered between 15 and 18 per cent for the past two decades," Senator Moore said.
"The question is, how do we close this gap? The answer is not by weakening the gender reporting requirements currently in place."
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency, and its reporting framework, was introduced by Labor in 2013 to engage employers in the process of examining their workplaces, their policies and practices, and reporting on their gender equality performance. The data is used to develop benchmark reports, and identify the barriers that lead to the gap.
The Abbott Government committed to retaining the framework before the election but announced the review in March 2014.
Most submissions from employers, gender equality advocates and employee groups stated broad support for the objectives of the reporting, and strong responses from gender equality advocates stated the critical need for real data on which to develop policy to address that gap.
"We know the gap is there and that it is a problem. We need to identify what is happening in workplaces so that we can share this knowledge and find solutions", said Claire Moore.
"Any reporting process involves structure and systems; the common goal must be to gather the best information to respond to the issue.
"Labor welcomes any proposal that improves and strengthens the framework. But this review must not become a cover for Tony Abbott to weaken reporting standards.
"The gender pay problem will not resolve without leadership and I call on Prime Minister and Minister for the Status of Women, Tony Abbott, to take his responsibilities seriously by identifying and discouraging hiring and employment practices that contribute to the disparity," said Senator Moore.
THURSDAY, 15 JANUARY 2015
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