CPSU says secretive IFAs holding APS back from gender equality


The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has today welcomed the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s (WGEA) first Commonwealth Public Sector Gender Equality Scorecard.

The scorecard has confirmed that outcomes delivered by the CPSU in bargaining, such as flexible working arrangements and improvements to paid parental leave, are expected to positively impact gender equality outcomes in the APS.

However, it also revealed a stubborn gender pay gap that translates to an average of $19,000 less per year for women.

The union has pointed to the use of highly lucrative individual flexibility arrangements (IFAs) as a large contributor to this pay gap.

Despite there being more women employed in the APS, men are more likely to be on an IFA.

The next WGEA report should assess the use of these individual arrangements and the impact they are having on gender inequality in the APS.

The CPSU wants to see more transparent and equitable arrangements to remunerate highly skilled employees in the APS, including meaningful career paths and remuneration.

Quotes attributable to Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary:

“The transparency provided by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s scorecard plays an important role in ensuring that gender equality remains as a priority issue to be tackled within the APS.

“The CPSU was able to secure significant improvements to conditions in service wide bargaining that will contribute to closing the gender pay gap over time.

“The report rightly noted flexible working arrangements and improvements to paid parental leave as gains for gender equality in the APS.

“The CPSU would like to see the next WGEA report address the use of Individual Flexibility Arrangements in the APS.

“We want to see a more transparent and equitable framework for remunerating highly skilled employees. Currently, there is a degree of secrecy surrounding the use of IFAs and that secrecy has consequences for gender equality.

“There are over 4000 of these arrangements in the APS, and at every classification, you’re less likely to benefit from one if you’re a woman.

“IFAs have played an important role in supporting the APS to attract and retain certain employees, but the lack of transparency has seen a concerning trend develop that must be addressed.

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