Human Rights Commission Supports Pay Claim
9 June 2011 at 2:01 pm
The community sector wages claim has received strong support from the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has welcomed the interim decision of Fair Work Australia on the country’s first equal pay test case under the new legislation.
The case was brought by the Australian Services Union and others for an equal remuneration order in the social and community services industry.
Last month, Fair Work Australia found that SACS workers are paid lower wages than public sector employees doing similar work, and that gender played a role in creating this wage disparity.
However, the tribunal fell short of issuing an equal remuneration order, calling for more evidence to be submitted to determine the extent to which lower wages had been affected by gender.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick says the work of the social and community services sector is some of the most important and yet undervalued work in Australia.
Commissioner Broderick says one of the primary reasons this work remains unrecognised is because it is predominately done by women.
She says equal remuneration for work of equal value is a human right of which many women in Australia are deprived.
Yet, she says, Australia continues to have female dominated sectors where the remuneration for workers is not equal.
The Australian Human Rights Commission notes the importance of the need to address the under-valuing of the social and community services sector, to ensure that there is equal pay for women.
Commissioner Broderick says she is hopeful that the outcome of this case will see an increase in the wages of the almost 200 000, mostly female workers across the country, particularly those working in health and community service industries.
She says appropriate and fair recognition of the value of this work is long overdue.