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Equal Pay Day 2020

August 28, 2020
Leeanda Smith
Women's Coordinator

The new national gender pay gap for the six months to May 2020 is 14 per cent. Today also marks the 59 additional days from the end of the previous financial year that women, on average, must work to earn the same as men in that year.

When we talk about the gender pay gap, we are talking about the difference between what men and women get paid, on average, across organisations, industries, and the workforce as a whole.

The national gender pay gap measures the difference between the average weekly full-time base salary earnings of women and men, expressed as a percentage of men's earnings. It is a measure of women's overall position in the paid workforce and does not compare like roles.

The gender pay gap is different to equal pay.

Equal pay is the concept of women and men being paid the same for performing the same role or different work of equal or comparable value. In Australia, this has been a legal requirement since 1969. The gender pay gap measures the difference between the average earnings of women and men in the workforce. It is not the difference between two people being paid differently for the same or similar job (which is unlawful).

Using the latest Average Weekly Earnings 'seasonally adjusted' series data released by the ABS, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has calculated the national gender pay gap as 14.0% for full-time employees, a difference of $253.60 per week.

Given the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market and that it is currently not known whether this impact will be short, medium or long-term, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has suspended the use of 'trend data'. Instead, WGEA has used 'seasonally adjusted' data to calculate average weekly earnings during the COVID-19 period. This means the Agency will not compare this year's gender pay gap statistics to previous years.

WGEA Director Libby Lyons said that the COVID-19 crisis has had a disproportionate impact on women. "Data would suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected women and men differently. More Australian women than men have lost their jobs since COVID-19 struck. A number of female-dominated industries have suffered the worst of the job losses. All the evidence we have suggests that COVID 19 is seriously jeopardising women's long-term economic and financial security and workforce participation."

In the WGEA media release Libby Lyons implores all Australian employers to step up the action for gender quality. "Addressing pay equity and ensuring the work of female employees is valued and rewarded equitably is a great place to start," she said.

For more details, visit https://www.wgea.gov.au/topics/the-gender-pay-gap/equal-pay-day-2020.

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© New South Wales Teachers Federation. All Rights Reserved.

Authorised by John Dixon, General Secretary, NSW Teachers Federation, 23-33 Mary St. Surry Hills NSW 2010

Privacy Policy