Labor's Plan To Help Close The Gender Pay Gap


A Shorten Labor Government will lead a national push to help close the gender pay gap and ensure women receive equal pay for their work.

Labor’s plan will deliver a fair go for Australian women by encouraging employers to take action to close gender gaps in their workplaces and make it easier for the Fair Work Commission to order pay increases for workers in female dominated industries such as early childhood, aged care and disability services.

The 17 per cent gender gap in total pay means Australian women are effectively working the first two months of every year for free.

The Liberals have ignored the gender pay gap, supported cuts to penalty rates that disproportionately harm women and refused to support increases to the minimum wage that help close the gap.


Labor will:

  • Change the Fair Work Act to make it clear that the Fair Work Commission must consider pay equity a central objective of the workplace relations system.
  • Establish a statutory Equal Remuneration Principle.
  • Give the Commission greater capacity and funding to conduct Pay Equity Reviews and order pay increases in undervalued feminised industries.
  • Fully fund professional pay increases of 20 per cent to early childhood educators over eight years.
  • Set up an expert Pay Equity Panel led by a new Presidential member and supported by a specialist Pay Equity Unit.
  • Restore cuts to penalty rates, which disproportionately impact women.
  • Make large companies with more than 1,000 employees publicly reveal their gender pay gaps for the first time.
  • Ban pay secrecy clauses and give employees the right to disclose (or not disclose) their pay.
  • Require all Australian government departments and agencies to conduct gender pay audits within the first year of a Labor Government.
  • Enforce gender-equitable government procurement processes.