Ad­vance in pay equal­ity

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NEW re­quire­ments for em­ploy­ers to re­port on the com­plete re­mu­ner­a­tion pack­ages of male and fe­male em­ploy­ees is a ‘‘ prac­ti­cal break­through’’ on the path to equal op­por­tu­nity for women in the work­place, unions say.

ACTU pres­i­dent Ged Kear­ney says the new re­forms, out­lined in the Equal Op­por­tu­nity for Women in the Work­place Amend­ment Bill in­tro­duced in Fed­eral Par­lia­ment last month, will force em­ploy­ers to do more than ‘‘ pay lip ser­vice’’ to equal op­por­tu­nity.

Re­mu­ner­a­tion pack­ages can in­clude spe­cial mon­e­tary pay­ments on top of salary, such as bonuses or com­mis­sions, or non-mon­e­tary re­wards, such as a car or mo­bile phone.

‘‘ These re­forms, which will en­force min­i­mum stan­dards and per­for­mance bench­marks for gen­der equal­ity in the work­place, will make it harder for em­ploy­ers to hide from their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,’’ Kear­ney says.

‘‘ Em­ploy­ers have had three decades to get their act to­gether but have failed to do it and these re­forms will pull them into line.

‘‘ There is no rea­son for women to be paid less than men for do­ing the same or equal work, there is no rea­son to shut them out of op­por­tu­ni­ties for pro­mo­tion and there is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for con­tin­ued dis­crim­i­na­tion, yet it goes on each day in work­places around Australia.’’

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