Gender-based undervaluation and the equal remuneration powers of Fair Work Australia

Joshua Healy, Michael Kidd

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    2 Citations (Scopus)


    We investigate gender-based wage undervaluation in light of Fair Work Australia's major recent decision for social and community service workers. Using regression methods, we demonstrate that wages for employees in female-dominated occupations are significantly lower than for comparable employees in male-dominated and integrated occupations. This undervaluation is present for both male and female employees, and persists after controlling for industry of employment. We then estimate the undervaluation within industry and juxtapose the results with evidence on the industry distribution of award reliance, a proxy for Fair Work Australia's equal remuneration powers. There is not a strong relationship within industries between the extent of gender-based undervaluation and award reliance. This suggests that 'equal remuneration for work of equal or comparable value' is unlikely to be achieved universally by Fair Work Australia without substantial spillovers between awards and non-award agreements.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)760-782
    Number of pages23
    JournalJournal of Industrial Relations
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


    • Equal remuneration
    • Fair Work Australia
    • gender pay gap
    • occupational segregation
    • undervaluation


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