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Labor has announced that if elected to government in 2019, it will move to enshrine equal pay within the Fair Work Act. 

Labor has signalled an intention to:

  • lower the bar for applications for equal pay orders (so as to expand the industries in which such orders may be made – eg, early childhood, aged care and disability services)
  • restructure the Fair Work Commission and appoint a second Commission President who will preside over a pay equity panel to decide on equal pay cases guided by a new equal remuneration principle

This announcement follows previous promises for a $400 million boost for woman’s superannuation and a ban on pay secrecy clauses.

With workplace/IR issues being a hot-button election topic and a Federal election tipped for May 2019, it is increasingly likely that further substantial changes may be made to Federal workplace laws in the second half of 2019.