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Friday, 25 September 1970

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

(1)   Does the Government support the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Recommendation of the International Labour Organisation which recommended to all member governments that all persons, without discrimination, should enjoy equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of remuneration for work of equal value and that government agencies should apply nondiscriminatory employment policies in all their activities? (2)If so, when does the Government intend to implement the Recommendation in respect of all female employees of the Commonwealth Government?

Mr Snedden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: (l)-(2) Unlike I.L.O. Conventions, the ratification of which creates a legal obligation to take all necessary steps to give effect to their provisions,

I.L.ORecommendationsarenotopentocertifica- tion but are intended to provide general guidance in the development of national policy, legislation and practice. Some subjects are of such a nature as to be more appropriate for the adoption of a Recommendation rather than a Convention. The Australian Government and a number of others considered that the adoption of a Recommendation would be the appropriate way of dealing with the subject of discrimination in employment and occupation and, therefore, abstained in the voting on the adoption of Convention No.111 - Discrimination (Employment and Occupation), 1958. After the Convention had been adopted, the Australian Government delegates voted for the adoption of the Recommendation to which the honourable member has referred. This Recommendation supplements the Convention by indicating possible ways in which the general principles set down in the Convention might be applied in legislation, collective agreements, etc. I can inform the honourable member that the general principles set down in the Convention relating to discrimination on the basis of sex, are substantially complied with as regards Commonwealth employees.

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