New gender equality law a step closer

June 19, 2012
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A new law to promote gender equality in Australian workplaces is a step closer following the passage of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Amendment Bill 2012 through the House of Representatives late yesterday.

Helen Conway, Director of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) said the proposed legislation will promote equal remuneration between women and men. The changes will also encourage organisations to allow men, as well as women, to work flexibly to meet family and caring responsibilities.

“We need to lift the participation rate of women in the workforce by removing existing disincentives. Our national productivity and competitiveness depends on it. In our workplaces, it is time we stopped paying lip service to gender equality and actually did something about it,” Ms Conway said.

The legislation will see EOWA renamed the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, reflecting a shift in focus from equal opportunity for women to equality between the genders.

“The proposed amendments are the result of an extensive review and consultation process with stakeholders including employers, business groups, employee organisations and women’s groups. The Agency looks forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to achieve better gender equality outcomes for women and men,” Ms Conway said.

The Bill must now be passed by the Senate before becoming law.

Source: New gender equality law a step closer (http://www.eowa.gov.au/information_centres/media_centre/media_releases/190612_new_gender_equality_law_a_step_closer.asp)

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