Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

House passes legislation to lock-in historic equal pay rises

The House of Representatives has today passed legislation that ensures the Australian Government’s $2.8 billion share of the equal pay increases awarded by Fair Work Australia to social and community services sector workers is secure now and in the future.

The Social and Community Services Pay Equity Special Account locks in the Australian Government’s $2.8 billion contribution to these pay rises over the next eight years for its directly funded programs and programs funded through Commonwealth-State Agreements.

“The Australian Government is committed to delivering 100% of our share of the historic Fair Work Australia increases for SACS workers,” the Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, said today.

“The Commonwealth has asked all State and territory Governments to get back to us with any additional information that could be used to calculate the appropriate costs of the FWA decision.

“The Government has undertaken a rigorous process to calculate its share of the wage increases and tested these calculations through a number of different processes.”

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

SACS workers will receive pay rises in nine installments totaling between 23 and 45 per cent from December this year.

“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,” Ms Collins said.

“These workers often take on challenging, caring roles, helping the most vulnerable in our communities – and for too long their work has been undervalued simply because the great majority of them are women.

“I look forward to the Senate passing the legislation as soon as possible so these valuable workers can receive the first of the increases in December as scheduled.

“The Australian Government will continue to work with the sector to ensure the smooth implementation of this historic equal remuneration claim, across all states and territories,” Ms Collins said.

The latest information on the implementation process is available through the dedicated website: