Gender pay equity

A workplace where men and women receive equal pay is an important and tangible way for an organisation to demonstrate a commitment to gender equality.

In 1984 there was a 17.9% gender pay gap benefiting men. But by 2009 instead of closing, the pay gap had actually increased to 21.5%. While the pay gap has fallen over the last 5 years, with a gap of 16.1% between November 2013 and May 2014, this is still higher than the current overall industry pay gap of 15.2%.

Factors contributing to this include:

  • women's lack of access to work-based training
  • reduced promotion opportunities
  • inflexible organisational structures that restrict the employment prospects of workers with family responsibilities.

 

Employers should seek to ensure:

  • men and women are paid the same amount for performing the same work
  • men and women are paid the same amount when performing different work of equal value
  • part-time workers are paid at the same levels as their full-time employees
  • women have equal access to discretionary payments such as over-award payments, bonuses and performance pay, superannuation and benefits such as the use of a company car and health insurance
  • opportunities are provided equally to male and female employees to access overtime and shift arrangements

 

The benefits for employers in implementing gender pay equality include:

  • Demonstrating fairness and respect in the workplace
  • fulfilling legal obligations and preventing negative public relations issues arising from legal proceedings
  • fulfilling obligations for government contracting opportunities.

 

A Payroll Analysis Tool is available from the Women’s Gender Equality Agency website to support employers with undertaking an audit to identify any areas where there may be gender inequities in pay rates.

 

For further information:

 

 

Questions for reflection:

  • When was the last time a comparative review was undertaken on the pay rates awarded to male and female employees? Did this identify any gaps? If so, how was this addressed?
  • Do women having equal access to discretionary payments (e.g. bonuses and performance pay) and benefits?
  • Are opportunities for accessing overtime and shift work provided equally to male and female employees?
  • To what extent are employees able to negotiate their pay/bonuses? What impact does this have on the rates of pay of men and women?