On 27 October 2016, VWL convenor, Stephanie Milione, and Law Reform committee co-chair, Amy Johnstone, appeared before the Education and Employment Legislation Committee . VWL’s submission to the committee can be found here: senate-inquiry-submission-into-the-fair-work-amendment-gender-pay-gap-bill-2015
They informed the committee that VWL supports law reform that encourages pay transparency for employees and organisations. It is our organisation’s view that pay secrecy, particularly in industries like the legal sector that incorporate a number of discretionary payments and bonuses as part of an employee’s salary package, contributes to the gender pay gap.
They noted that VWL advocates for a broad policy response to the gender pay gap as we appreciate that the issue is multi-factorial and is influenced by social factors, part-time work due to caring responsibilities, the high cost of temporal flexibility, discrimination including unconscious bias, and pay negotiation models. VWL views improved pay transparency through the passing of this Bill as one tool that should be used in combination with a variety of legislative and policy responses to close the gender pay gap. Other mechanisms that can be used to address pay disparity include rigorous workplace gender equality reporting requirements that ensure employers are accountable for pay decisions that disadvantage women and the implementation of a national educational campaign to raise awareness of these legislative changes once the amendment is passed.
Stephanie and Amy notified the committee that VWL endorses the text of Fair Work Amendment (Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2015.