Unions NSW says more detailed mandatory gender pay audits should be introduced in light of new data that shows clear evidence of gender bias, especially in non-union workplaces. 

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s second annual snapshot of gender progress shows women are still taking home on average 19.1 percent less than men and up to 30 percent less for women at higher levels of management.

The report shows when bonuses, allowances and superannuation are taken into account the gender pay gap for full time women is a staggering 24 percent less than men.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon said under current reporting requirements, organisations with over 100 employees are not required to breakdown items like bonuses, looking only at aggregated data of base salary and total remuneration.

 “The current requirements do not provide anywhere near enough detail for policy makers to pinpoint problems,” Mr Lennon said.

“Furthermore, it is not detailed enough for employers to see where they need to pick up their game.

“More needs to be done to turn around the systematic discrimination against women that is seeing them ripped off at work and poorer in retirement.”

Mr Lennon said unions are working with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency to push for more companies to introduce more detailed mandatory gender pay audits, because if you shine a proper light on wages, you will find pay discrepancies.

“The government needs to pick up its game and aim for total transparency rather than watering down the reporting rules for employers that leave us in the dark.”

Meanwhile, ABS figures show the gender pay-gap in NSW is 6.5 per cent larger for non-union employees when looking at average weekly earnings, meaning union workplaces have better gender pay equality outcomes.

“The union advantage is the result of unions working hard to give female members a voice in the workplace and ensuring pay setting instruments are transparent and performance management assessments are fair,” Mr Lennon said.

“The fight for gender equality can’t be won by women negotiating at an individual level. It is collectively that women stand the best chance of fighting gender bias.

“It’s time the government acknowledged the important role unions play in ensuring pay equity and work with us to address the huge hurdles women face in earning equal pay for equal work.”

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