Title Sex Discrimination Amendment (Boosting Superannuation for Women) Bill 2014
Database Explanatory Memoranda
Date 16-06-2015 05:46 PM
Source House of Reps
System Id legislation/ems/r5383_ems_16f8c294-1725-4468-9424-7d0af803bc0a


Sex Discrimination Amendment (Boosting Superannuation for Women) Bill 2014

2014

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sex Discrimination Amendment (Boosting Superannuation for Women) Bill 2014

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

and

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circulated by authority of

Adam Bandt


 

Sex Discrimination Amendment (Boosting Superannuation for Women) Bill 2014

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The purpose of this bill is to allow employers to make higher superannuation contributions for women employees without breaching discrimination law or having to apply for an exemption.

 

Section 14 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee on the ground of the employee’s sex.  Women currently retire with far less superannuation than men.  Reasons for this include lower average incomes, time out of paid work to provide care and the prevalence of women in casual and part-time employment.  According to the ABS, in 2011-12 the average superannuation account balances were $82,615 for men and $44,866 for women.  As women have a longer life expectancy than men, on average three to four years, they require a higher superannuation balance than men at retirement.

 

By inserting a new section into the Act, this bill will allow employers to contribute to addressing the financial gender imbalance by enabling them to make higher superannuation contributions for women employees without having to seek an exemption under section 44 of the Act.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The bill would have no direct financial impact.

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 – Short title

 

This clause provides for the short title of the bill.

 

Clause 2 – Commencement

 

The bill would commence on the day on which it receives the royal assent.

 

Clause 3 – Schedule

 

This clause provides for the effect of schedule 1, which is to make amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

 

Schedule 1 – Amendments of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984

 

Items 1 and 2 will be additions to section 14 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and provide for the application of the proposed new section 41C.

 

Proposed new section 41C

 

This section confirms that discrimination by an employer against a female employee is not unlawful if the discrimination is on the grounds of the employee’s sex and involves the employer making an employer superannuation contribution that is more than otherwise required by law.


 

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Sex Discrimination Amendment (Boosting Superannuation for Women) Bill 2014

 

This bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

Overview of the bill

 

The purpose of this bill is to allow employers to make higher superannuation contributions for women employees without breaching discrimination law or having to apply for an exemption.

 

Section 14 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee on the ground of the employee’s sex.  Women currently retire with far less superannuation than men.  Reasons for this include lower average incomes, time out of paid work to provide care and the prevalence of women in casual and part-time employment.  According to the ABS, in 2011-12 the average superannuation account balances were $82,615 for men and $44,866 for women.  As women have a longer life expectancy than men, on average three to four years, they require a higher superannuation balance than men at retirement.

 

By inserting a new section into the Act, this bill will allow employers to contribute to addressing the financial gender imbalance by enabling them to make higher superannuation contributions for women employees without having to seek an exemption under section 44 of the Act.

 

Human rights implications

 

The bill enhances gender equality and gives effect to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

 

In particular, Article 11(d): The right to equal remuneration, including benefits, and to equal treatment in respect of work of equal value, as well as equality of treatment in the evaluation of the quality of work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

This bill is compatible with human rights because it advances the financial equality of women.

 

 

 

Adam Bandt