Australian Workplace Agreements and Gender Equity
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This paper explores the issue of gender equity and re-assesses the likely experience of women under the new Australian industrial relations regime. Proponents of the changes have consistently argued that women's position (as measured by financial and non-financial (eg. flexibility) indicators) will improve under a system 'more responsive to individual needs'. However, the data presented in this paper show that the biggest losers in the pre-WorkChoices system of individual bargaining have been women non-managerial employees on individual contracts. We extrapolate from this to suggest that this group is likely to see a further deterioration in their relative pay position over the next few years. We also highlight important changes required to data collection methods if we are to adequately monitor equity outcomes under this new regime.