Gender pay gap worsening: ACTU
Monday, 7 March 2016 12:26pm

With International Women's Day around the corner the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has renewed calls for the federal government to make gender inequality a priority.

The ACTU's updated gender pay gap report shows 60% of women aged between 65 and 69 have no superannuation, and an estimated 38.7% of single women will retire in poverty.

The report also highlights the average superannuation balance for women at retirement is $138,150, compared with $292,500 for men. It said twice the amount of government superannuation tax concessions flow to men than women.

The research comes ahead of International Women's Day tomorrow.

ACTU president Ged Kearney said the findings are overwhelming.

"Young girls are still disadvantaged, women in the workplace are presented with constant barriers and older women face a poor retirement, possibly a retirement into poverty," Kearney said.

"The ACTU hoped for change since the original report was published three years ago. How long do we all have to keep waiting? Why isn't this government making inequality a priority?

"A girl receiving 11% less pocket money than a boy is a simple indictor that we can all begin to make things fairer in our families. But when 60% of women aged between 65 to 69 years retire with no super, 70% of workers in the lowest paid occupations are women, and just 17% of Australian CEOs are women, this shouts out that we have major problems to tackle."

The unions are calling for a government-funded parental leave scheme of 26 weeks paid at no less than the national minimum wage plus superannuation; 15 hours of free childcare for every child per week for all families; and a right to request flexible work arrangements that clearly set out an employer's obligations to properly consider and make reasonable efforts to accommodate requests.

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