Fair Payouts For Women

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It’s time to stop unfair redundancy payouts for primary care givers. We cannot achieve gender equality without tackling this ingrained practice of discrimination.

Redundancies given to women on maternity leave are at an alarming rate of 20%. That doesn’t include redundancies that are not reported or when someone is pushed out due to inflexibility in the workplace.

These redundancies are currently not paid out pro-rata. If a woman has worked full-time for most of her employment and moved to part-time hours after falling pregnant or having children, she is only entitled to a redundancy based on part-time hours.

This gives employees a cheap and easy way to make working mothers redundant. And it needs to stop.

I was made redundant whilst on maternity leave. I worked for my employer for 14 years. The majority of that time I worked full-time (about 12 years) and went down to part-time hours when I had my first child. When I was made redundant the payout offered was as if I’d worked entirely part-time making the overall payment much less than if I’d been paid out pro-rata. This put unfair stress on my family at a time when I was most vulnerable.

Women deserve pay outs that accurately reflect their contribution to the workforce. Why the focus on women? Because it’s mainly women who go from full-time to part-time hours after having children (Women constitute 37.3% of all full-time employees and 68.1% of all part-time employees - ABS 2019, Labour Force). And older women are the fasted growing group of people experiencing homelessness in Australia. These unfair payouts are a contributing factor.

Not giving women a fair redundancy payout is blatant discrimination and should not be legal.

Something needs to be done about the number of women made redundant whilst on maternity leave. Let’s start by tackling unfair redundancy payouts to primary care givers.

Hon Scott Morrison MP, Kate Jenkins, Hon Daniel Andrews MP, Hon Marise Payne and Tim Watts MP - make part-time employee redundancy payouts pro-rata so they accurately reflect an employee’s contribution to the workforce. That is fair for all. That is the right thing to do.