Friday, August 19, 2011

Taking them at their word

Ever since the Greens and the Human Rights Commission started making noise about the pervasive discrimination of the gender pay gap, the government has been on the back foot, trying to find a way to doing nothing about an obvious problem. Their current line is that they don't need to do anything, because employees suspecting gender discrimination can simply ask for a labour inspector to investigate the issue on their behalf (and therefore any discrimination is the fault of women, for not acting to enforce their rights).

So, the Greens have decided to take them at their word, partnering with the CTU to launch a petition [PDF] to have workplaces investigated. If you suspect pay discrimination in your workplace (and 65% of women do), then print it out, sign it, and send it in (ticking the "I request any investigation be confidential" box as appropriate). If the Minister is to be believed, this will result in the problem being investigated and resolved. If OTOH the Department of Labour consistently refuses to investigate (because they're just not funded to), then it will prove that the law is not working and that the government needs to do something more.

I wonder what the result will be? Clearly, there's only one way to find out...