Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Parliament locks in historic equal pay rises

Joint Media Release with:

  • Wayne Swan MP
    Deputy Prime Minister

    Senator Penny Wong
    Minister for Finance and Deregulation

    Bill Shorten MP
    Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

The Australian Government welcomes the passage of legislation through the Parliament today, locking in equal pay increases for 150,000 social and community services sector workers.

The legislation establishes the Social and Community Services Pay Equity Special Account confirming that the Australian Government will contribute $2.8 billion towards pay rises for social and community services sector (SACS) workers over the next eight years.

This follows the decision by Fair Work Australia to grant SACS workers pay rises in nine instalments totalling between 23 and 45 per cent.

The Special Account will provide some of Australia’s lowest paid workers with peace of mind knowing the Australian Government’s contribution for their wage increases is secure throughout the implementation process.

Eligible workers will receive their first instalment in December, as scheduled.

Organisations who hire eligible workers will receive letters of offer for supplementation from the Australian Government in November.

The Australian Government is committed to delivering 100 per cent of its share of the historic Fair Work Australia increases for SACS programs it funds directly or through Commonwealth-State Agreements.

State and Territory governments must now step forward and commit their share of funds.

Fair Work Australia’s ruling earlier this year was a historic achievement for equal pay rights for women – around 120,000 of the 150,000 workers covered by the order are women.

These employees make a real difference to the lives of some of our most vulnerable community members.

The Australian Government will continue to work with the sector and State and Territory governments to ensure the smooth implementation of this historic equal remuneration claim.

The Government’s $2.8 billion contribution is fully funded and accounted for in the Budget.

See the latest information on the implementation process.