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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 November 2021) . . Page.. 3540 ..

The budget provides funding to continue this initiative and to progress implementation of recommendations made by the advisory council in their review of the Secure Local Jobs Code that was delivered to me in December 2020. Continued support of and investment in the code ensures that the registrar has appropriate support to drive the government’s commitment to ensuring contracts are only awarded to businesses that meet the highest standards.

Ahead of the release of the 2020-21 annual reports, I would like to take this opportunity to update the Assembly on the additional reporting work that we are undertaking. On 6 October, the Assembly passed a resolution from Ms Orr that called on the ACT government to undertake more detailed reporting on the gender pay gap in the ACT public service. I expect the ACT public service to be a model employer for gender equity in the workforce. Compared to the Australian workforce, the ACT public service gender pay gap is low. The State of the Service Report 2020-21 will show that the overall gender pay gap has further declined to a low of 0.8 per cent. While this further reduction is an important achievement, further improvements can be made. Our statistics compare to 7.9 per cent in the wider ACT labour force and 14.2 per cent in the Australian labour force.

I am pleased to report that the 2020-21 State of the Service Report will contain data on the gender pay gap experienced by casual and part-time employees, a breakdown of the pay gaps experienced by women with a disability, women who are culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and a breakdown of the gender pay gap by classification, including executives and non-executive classifications. This visibility of different outcomes across diverse groups of women will allow us to better understand the nature of the problem and develop targeting actions, and it will be crucial in ensuring that the gender pay gap continues to decrease in the ACT public service.

Data collection by itself is only one aspect of the government’s action on addressing gender equality and the gender pay gap. In April 2021, the ACT public service commenced a project to expand its diversity and inclusions agenda, which includes reviewing the existing respect, equity and diversity framework. Actions to improve gender equity within the ACT public service, including to address sexual harassment, will be developed and implemented as a central component of this project. Fundamentally, improvement in reporting and decision action are key to the ACT government’s commitment to improving equality within the ACT public service.

I am pleased to be able to provide this update today as part of this appropriation debate, and look forward to continuing this important work.

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (5.06): I want to talk about a few elements within the CMTEDD remit. Firstly, I want to talk about industrial relations. Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation by bad employers. They face language and cultural barriers, insecure employment arrangements, discrimination, and precarious visa arrangements. They are also frequently exploited through wage theft and unsafe working conditions. Migrant workers are vulnerable due to their precarious position, to a lack of specialised support services, and to a lack of education and understanding about their rights at work.

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