Submission to Select Committee on Equal Pay Amendment Bill

This submission is made up of 6 attachments because that is the maximum I could load.

Attachments 1 and 2 are the main part of submission and argue that pay equity is unfair to fair employers. An employer can hire and promote on merit, pay the going wage and still be successfully sued. Their name blackened forever. As a question of social justice, it is wrong to sue someone as a discriminating employer, when there is nothing they could do to right the supposedly wrong they were successfully sued. Barnardo’s can no longer compete with social workers because of the pay equity settlement in the public sector. It relies on donations and tendering for public contracts. It has no capacity to raise wages but could be successfully sued and driven out of business.

Attachments 3 to 5 explains that the gender pay gap is the result of the work-life balance choices of women interacting with some professions penalising an inability to work specific hours or long hours much more than. Pay equity will address none of these issues.

Attachment 6 explains how more than 40 years ago Solomon Polachek found that the gender pay gap was driven by factors such as the number and spacing of children. Employers cannot discriminate against women because they do not know this information and it is now unlawful to ask. It is a strange misogyny that employers hire single women on merit but have a bias against mothers who have several children whose birthdates on widely spaced apart.

To conclude this overview, as attachment 3 shows in a graphic, the gender pay gap for women at the bottom and middle of the labour market is barely 3-5%. It is rather odd to be offering 30% pay rises for a group of women whose pay gap with men at the bottom and middle of the labour market is not more than 5%. Clearly the comparable worth methodology misses something.

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