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Wednesday, 28 October 1970

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

(1)   Will he give the Committee on Women's Employment an opportunity to consider the Commonwealth's 9-point formula relating to the question of equal pay.

(2)   If so, does the Commonwealth intend to adhere to its support for the formula.

(3)   Are some of the points contained in the formula not applied by the Commonwealth Arbitration Commission when fixing minimum rates of pay for adult mates; if not, why not.

Mr SNEDDEN (BRUCE, VICTORIA) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   As I explained in my press statement of5th May 1970 when announcing the establishment of the Committee on Women's Employment, the Committee, which is consultative and advisory in character, advises through the National Labour Advisory Council, the Government and the Department of Labour and National Service on questions relating to the employment of women in the work force. Its charter is broad but like the Council itself, it does not ordinarily become involved in matters which have been or are likely to be the subject of claims before arbitral tribunals. The subject of equal pay falls into this category.

(2)   On the assumption that the honourable member is referring to the nine principles set down by the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in its 1969 Equal Pay Case decision the Commonwealth proposes to abide by the principles.

(3)   The Commission's nine principles set out in its 1969 Equal Pay Case decision are concerned with determining whether female workers employed under particular Federal awards should be granted the same pay rates as males and are not concerned with determining minimum rates of pay for adult males.

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