Social Justice & Action
Celebrating a year of wins for women
Nurses and midwives alongside the wider union movement have always been at the forefront of the ongoing campaign to improve the lives of women.
While we still have a long way to go to close the gender pay gap and achieve full gender equality, we’ve taken huge steps forward in the past year.
Here are some of the most significant changes:
- 10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave.
One woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner. This initiative gives victims financial security when avoiding domestic violence situations;
- Expansion of paid parental leave from 20 weeks to 26 weeks by 2026.
Increased paid leave means less women will be forced to take unpaid leave, helping close the pay gap and supporting women’s workforce participation;
- Access to multi-employer bargaining.
Women in female-dominated industries such as aged care and early childhood education can negotiate together to win fair terms and conditions;
- A 15% interim pay rise for aged-care workers.
Female-dominated industries are traditionally undervalued and low-paid. Approximately 80% of aged and disabled carers are women;
- Stronger rights to request flexible work and challenge its refusal.
Creating a better work-life balance for employees who have additional domestic duties;
- A minimum wage increase of 5.2% in 2022.
Low-paid and award-reliant workers are more likely to be women;
- Outlawed pay secrecy clauses;
- A new positive duty for employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace; and
- New protections from discrimination in our workplace laws.
Union members, in particular women union members are to thank for these wins. In May 2022, we helped remove a federal government that was hostile towards working women, and we will continue to hold future federal and state governments to account to ensure tackling the gender pay gap and issues that disproportionately affect women are at the top of the agenda.
With the gender pay gap still at 13.3%, there is still a long campaign ahead of us but we are making significant progress.