Bill's Media Releases

Locking in funds for historic equal pay rises

The Gillard Government will introduce legislation tomorrow to ensure its $2.8 billion contribution to equal pay increases for social and community sector (SACS) workers is secure now and into the future.

 Workers in the SACS sector make a difference every day to the lives of the most vulnerable in our community and the Gillard Government wants to ensure its contribution towards increased entitlements can only be used for that purpose.

 Under the terms of Fair Work Australia’s historic equal remuneration order, around 150,000 SACS workers will benefit from regular wage rises totalling between 23 and 45 per cent from 1 December this year until June 2021.

The Gillard Government’s creation of the new Social and Community Services Pay Equity Special Account will deliver peace of mind to these workers – who are some of the lowest paid in Australia.

 FWA’s ruling earlier this year marks a significant advance for equal pay for women - around 120,000 of the workers covered by the order are women.

 Workers in the SACS sector have challenging jobs including helping women and children in refuges, running support centres for people with disability, leading teams of counselling professionals and managing family support services and emergency housing for the homeless and the mentally ill.

 The Gillard Government will continue to work collaboratively with state and territory governments to ensure the historic FWA decision is fully implemented and fully funded for the benefit of workers in the sector.

 The Government will also work with the sector to ensure the smooth implementation of the equal pay order across all states and territories.

 The Government’s $2.8 billion contribution is fully funded and accounted for in the Budget.

 The latest information on the implementation process is available at: www.fahcsia.gov.au/node/10776.