In a significant decision delivered Tuesday, the Fair Work Commission has dismissed an Application for an Equal Remuneration Order by United Voice and the Australian Education Union and delivered important guidance on the conduct of future proceedings.
A Full Bench dismissed the application for an equal remuneration order filed by United Voice and the Australian Education Union (AEU) in 2013 involving child care employees other than teachers across the country. The joint Application claimed that employees in the sector are low paid for gender related reasons. To view the Decision in full please click here
The Application sought to compare the work performed by mostly female child care employees to the work performed by predominately male employees in the manufacturing sector under the Manufacturing and Associated Industries Award 2010, and its predecessor awards in Victoria and the ACT in 2005.
The Commission dismissed the case and found in favour of the NSW Business Chamber and its members for a number of reasons including that a comparison of work in 2005 was not appropriate in 2018, without a thorough examination of the value of the work today. The NSWBC is represented by ABLA in the proceedings.
While the Full Bench confirmed that United Voice and the AEU could file a fresh application, either for an equal remuneration order, or a claim for a change in work value, the decision remains significant.
If United Voice and the AEU’s application was successful it would have radically affected many small and medium sized childcare businesses who are predominately mum and dad operators.
However, this chapter is not closed. This decision does not affect a similar application made by the Independent Education Union in relation to Teachers employed in childcare centres which is still being considered by the FWC. This application is not scheduled for hearing until later in 2018.
Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors has a team of experts who have been regularly advising on this issue and who have taken a lead role in the defending the matter before the Fair Work Commission. We are therefore well-placed to provide legal advice on the effect of the decision on your business.
Feel free to contact us on 1300 565 846 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.