Equal Pay problems

There is a consensus around the world, that everywhere, with everything else being equal, males are better paid than females. We have all gotten used to it and we all know that there is legislation in place prohibiting exactly that and that every employer is committed to treat everyone fairly and the same. And still, it happens, and still, no one knows how to fix it. The latest addition is the Pay Equity deal agreed to by the Government with the care sector union to address systematic underpayment of females in the age care sector.

This is huge and overdue. The care sector is underpaid full stop, which is an outrage in itself, but to then even underpay one group because of their gender is an even bigger scandal. So that is all good, but it leaves the question why it is so hard to just pay everyone equally. One reason might be the secrecy around who is getting paid what. Yes, there are pay bands and collective agreements, but there are individual employment agreements and people who can bargain better or who are hired when there was a shortage and could ask for more. And what does equal pay actually mean anyway?



Robert Foitzik