Archives for February 2014

A Coalition of the Willing

Friends and colleagues
Women on Boards and the social policy committee of the National Foundation for Australian Women are setting up a Coalition of the Willing to oppose the proposed amendments to the reporting schedules for the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
The idea is based on the campaign orchestrated by a coalition of business groups in 2000, including The (then) Securities Institute, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Business Council of Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, the Law Council of Australia and the Investment & Financial Services Association who joined forces to put pressure on all state Attorneys General to refer their corporations law powers to the Commonwealth.  This was a sustained and well orchestrated campaign that was extremely successful albeit with a few hiccups. The bill ceding all powers to the commonwealth (CLERP) was finally passed in late  2001.The PR professional responsible for the CLERP campaign and known to WOB throught our highly successful launch of the WOB Traffic Light Index, would be leading this campaign.Women on Boards has committed between $5k and $10 to this project and is looking for financial contributions from $2k upwards from other organisations who must be willing to put their name to the Coalition.
If any individual/organisation needs a tax deduction the NFAW can accept a gift identified for the Social Policy Committee- WGEA reporting. See http://www.nfaw.org/donate/

The campaign will be strong, but accurate and responsible in terms of its advocacy. It will be coordinated through Women on Boards.

Please let me know if you can support/contribute etc.


Claire Braund                                                                                   Marie Coleman
E
xecutive Director                                                                             Social Policy Committee
Women on Boards Australia                                                              National Foundation for Australian Women
Director
Women on Boards UK
m.  + 61 409 981 781
t.    + 61 2 4362 1333
 

Juggling careers, childcare and choice

Words like “desire” and “choice” might be poor ways to describe circumscribed career moves that mothers make when trying to factor in childcare, writes Leslie Cannold. – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-24/cannold-juggling-careers-childcare-and-choice/5278702 

Gender Indicators, Australia

The sixth issue of Gender Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 4125.0) will be released on Tuesday 25 February 2014. It includes a link to a podcast between Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner from the Australian Human Rights Commission and GSAG member, and Paul Jelfs, First Assistant Statistician, Social, Health and Labour Division, Australian Bureau of Statistics.

 In the podcast, Elizabeth and Paul discuss the value of gender disaggregated data and how it informs the policy debate around gender equality.

Other features of the sixth release:

  • ‘Latest highlights’ pages which emphasise the most recently released data for each domain. Previously the ‘Snap shot’ page, the ‘Latest highlights’ pages will be accessed from the Contents page.
  • The Safety and Justice commentary and data cube have been updated with data from the 2012 Personal Safety Survey (cat. no. 4906.0).

Social media posts will also go up on the ABS Facebook and ABS Twitter accounts some time after 11.30 am on 25 February 2014.

Caution urged on Abbott Government Paid Parental Leave Scheme

The National Foundation for Australian Women and economicSecurity4Women have urged the Federal Government to refer its contentious Paid Parental Leave (PPL) Scheme to the Productivity Commission Review on Childcare.

The new PPL Scheme is due to commence on 1 July 2015 if legislation passes the Senate, however a number of key women’s organisations believe it should be linked closely with any major reforms on childcare – which has a much greater impact on the capacity of women to work and care than PPL.

Ms Marie Coleman, social policy spokesperson for NFAW, said PPL and the provision of quality affordable childcare are key factors in workforce planning and productivity for Australian companies and it was imperative to get them right.

“NFAW and economicSecurity4Women believe there is an opportunity with the Productivity Commission already reviewing childcare to add PPL to its terms of reference and get a better outcome for working parents.”

“While we cautiously welcome both the extended period of leave and the increased payments to qualifying carers provided for in the new PPL legislation, there are a range of matters that remain unanswered and would benefit from a broad based review.”

Ms Coleman said the NFAW has written to Ministers outlining additional items it would like to see included in the legislation, in particular an independent evaluation of the extent to which the changed approach impacts on workforce participation.

We have also suggested an extensive education campaign for employers and employees within the SME sector where many will for the first time will experience competitive paid parental leave conditions,” Ms Coleman said.

NFAW and economicSecurity4Women have noted the Government assurances that:

· It will consult with business groups, unions, superannuation and women’s organisations, not-for-profit representatives, rural groups and state and territory governments ahead of the introduction of the legislation.

  • It does not intend to displace existing paid parental leave schemes provided under industrial agreements, but will take on an employer’s responsibility to provide the payment and superannuation up to the PPL wage amount.
  • Employee entitlements set out in existing enterprise agreements will not be affected – employees will not lose any conditions they already receive.
  • Employers will continue to be allowed to determine their own policies including offering top-ups to attract staff.
  • As the costs of providing payments during parental leave is lifted off employers, they will be directed to/encouraged to invest in other work/family policies
  • All eligible men and women will receive the same minimum payment during leave – that is, their actual wage, or national minimum wage if higher, for 26 weeks.

(ENDS)

Contact Details

For Interviews

Marie Coleman, Chair Social Policy Committee NFAW, T 0414483067 email: mariecoleman@grapevine.com.au
Sandra Cook, Chair, economicSecurity4Women, T 0409 608344 email: Sandra.Cook@corum.com.au

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