Direct Discrimination In Australia

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Sexual discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably than another of the opposite sex in similar or the same circumstances . There are two forms of discrimination, direct and indirect. Indirect discrimination occurs when there is a rule or policy that is the same for everyone but has a negative effect on people of a particular sex1. An example of direct discrimination is the gender pay gap. The gender pay gap still exists in Australia today even after the establishment of the former Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth), now known as the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009. It is necessary to amend this Act as the gender pay gap is a form of gender inequality and also a form of direct discrimination.
The legislation
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The gender pay gap is currently at 17.3% but has hovered between 15-19% for the past two decades . This means that for every $1 a man makes, a woman makes approximately $0.83. The gender pay gap is influenced by numerous interrelated work, family and societal factors which include stereotypes about the work which men and women ‘should’ engage and participate in, the difference in the industries and jobs in which men and women work as female-dominated jobs have historically attracted lower wages in comparison to male-dominated jobs, a lack of women in senior positions and direct and indirect discrimination5.
There are three various types of the gender pay gap, by-level gaps, pay gaps within industries and like-for-like gaps. By-level gaps compare the responsibilities of men and women, in particular, those who are on the same level in the organisational hierarchy. Pay gaps within industries refer to the pay gap between various fields of the workforce as in every single workforce there is a pay gap which favours men over women, in particular, full-time working men. Like-for-like gaps refer to the gaps between men and women who undertake work of either equal value or comparable
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By implementing this change, women would have the right to equal pay and the gender pay gap could be abolished through this change. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency could work to require all agencies to conduct an annual gender pay gap analysis. This includes non-public sector employers with less than 100 relevant employers . The gender pay gap is a form of direct discrimination, which is illegal under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984. If the SDA was amended to include a criminal penalty then fewer companies would victimise women, therefore, resulting in the possible abolishment of the gap. Furthermore, if more organisations were educated on the gender pay gap and the effects that it has on a woman’s financial stability the gap could reduce and, in the long term, be abolished. Also, if more women were educated about their rights in the workplace then they could promote gender equality in the workforce, therefore assisting in the abolishment of gender