26 September 2023

National Equal Pay Day pays off

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The South Australian Department for Human Services marked ‘National Equal Pay Day’ on Monday of last week (29 August) to draw attention to the gender pay gap male and female workers receive in their payslips.

The chosen Monday was 60 days from the end of the last financial year, reflecting the number of days women have to work on average to earn the same amount as men did in the past year.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WEGA), South Australia has the lowest gender pay gap in the country.

The ABS reveals that the gap in our State is sitting at 7.4 per cent compared to the national average of 14.1 per cent.

The difference between male and female average weekly full-time earnings in South Australia is $123.70, compared to $263.90 nationally.

Director of WGEA, Mary Wooldridge said that while the gender pay gap persists, “women’s skills, capabilities and potential are not being fully realised or valued.”

“Further, while women are earning less, they’re spending the same as men on the essentials we all need to survive,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“A high inflation rate of 6.1 per cent is greatly increasing the cost of living, making daily essentials like fruit and vegetables, fuel, electricity and rent more and more expensive,” she said.

“The gender pay gap means many women now find it even harder to make ends meet.”

According to the SA Department for Human Services, while South Australia is the best performer, Western Australia was the last with a gap of 22.4 per cent, a difference in weekly earnings between men and women sitting at $471.70.

It said this was due in part to WA’s large mining and construction industries with relatively high earnings and low representation of women.

For more information about the women’s policy in South Australia, the Office for Women can be accessed at this PS News link.

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