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Why the PM doesn’t want pay gap data made public

Under a Labor government, the gender pay data of Australian companies which have over 1000 employees would be made public, but not everyone is happy about it.

Also read: ABC sacks MD Michelle Guthrie

The “stubbornly high” gender pay gap, where full-time working women earn 15 per cent less than full-time working men, is “unacceptable”, shadow minister for education and training and women Tanya Plibersek and shadow minister for employment and workplace relations Brendan O’Connor said in a joint statement on Sunday.

The move comes off the back of plans Labor unveiled last week to reduce the gender gap in superannuation.

PM Scott Morrison: “I don’t want to create tensions in workplaces”

Later on Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined his thoughts on Labor’s proposal, suggesting that workplace dynamics would be upset by greater transparency around the pay gap in large Australian companies.

“The way I want to [narrow the gender pay gap] is by actually getting everyone to work together,” he said.

“I don’t want to create tensions in workplaces. I don’t want to set one set of employees against another set of employees. I don’t think that’s the constructive way to do this.

“We’re open to all suggestions but these things are already reported at a sector-wide level and at an economy-wide level. I would be encouraging companies where they wish to and on that basis, to be an employer of choice. They can tell that as part of their story, if they wish.”

“But before you went down that path, I think you’d want to be confident you weren’t just going to be setting up conflict in the workplace,” the Prime Minister said.

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“You’ve got to think through this as to how that will that play out on the actual ground; what will that mean? Will people in companies, when they look at each side of each other, from desk to desk, go: ‘Did I not get a pay rise, because you got one?’”

Morrison said the gender pay gap had widened under a Labor government and narrowed under the Coalition government.

“We’ve taken the gender pay gap, since we came to government, down from 17.2 per cent to 14.5 per cent. Now, when Labor were in power, it went from 15.5 per cent up to 17.2 per cent.”

Also read: Labor to give new parents a superannuation boost