Key changes urged to Equal Pay Amendment bill
E tū says without key changes to the Equal Pay Amendment bill, few women will be able to successfully pursue an equal
E tū Assistant National Secretary, John Ryall appeared before today’s Workforce and Education Select Committee hearing
on the bill, together with E tū delegate, Marianne Bishop.
John says the union welcomes the Government’s decision to retain the Equal Pay Act 1972, which the previous National
government would have scrapped.
The union is also pleased claimants must no longer prove they have a case before they can lodge a pay equity claim.
“However, too many hurdles remain,” says John.
“The process remains unnecessarily complex and time-consuming, and it needs to be simplified.”
John says the union’s position is founded on the principles of the Joint Working Group on pay equity, as well as the
Court of Appeal ruling in the Terranova case which led to the equal pay settlement for care and support workers.
“The court found the Equal Pay Act 1972 was deficient and in need of change, which we support, but we don’t want it
changed so it’s more difficult for women to get pay equity.
“There is a risk as things stand of closing the door for other women, because it’s so difficult that people give up.”
E tū delegate and care and support worker, Marianne Bishop says the new bill is an improvement on the Equal Pay Act
But she says, while women in unions will have support to navigate the process, many individual claimants would struggle.
She says it’s critical all women get the resources they need, including help with comparators so they can argue their
“The bill is better than it was but it’s quite complex for an individual person to navigate. Employers will have lawyers
to help them but many women will flounder.
“There needs to be a support system – an agency – to help these people through the process,” she says.