• Media Release

Federal Labor will be asking Australians for feedback on the impact of penalty rate cuts on women as part of an upcoming nationwide gender equity consultation.

The ‘Setting the Agenda’ consultation series will be led by Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Women Tanya Plibersek and the Status of Women Caucus Committee to inform the development of Labor’s gender equity blueprint. 


Committee Chair Sharon Claydon said the unexpected and unprecedented Fair Work Commission decision to cut Sunday penalty rates prompted the committee to include the issue on the national conversation agenda.  

“Women are more likely to be on minimum award wages, more likely to work part-time, and more likely to rely on penalty rates to make ends meet,” Ms Claydon said.

“The decision to slash penalty rates will see up to 700,000 workers lose up to $77 a week. Labor is very concerned this pain will be disproportionately borne by women. 

“The decision opened the door for penalty rate cuts in other industries that employ a high proportion of women. What starts with hospitality and retail will flow into the rest of the workforce” 

Ms Claydon said the impact of penalty rate cuts would be one of a number of pressing gender equity issues that would shape Labor’s community conversations. 

“Australian women face a range of entrenched barriers to equity. We have a good idea of what those barriers are and we want to talk to Australians about the solutions,” Ms Claydon said.

“We will be talking about concrete actions and clear plans to address issues such as increasing the number of women in Parliament, closing the gender pay gap, fair retirement incomes, reducing homelessness and ending family violence.”

The consultations will be conducted online and through forums, workshops and meetings across the country.

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