Category Archives: Employment

Federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984

Sex Discrimination Act 1984 passed by the Federal Government. This made discrimination on the basis of gender, pregnancy and marital status illegal in Australia.

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Deborah Wardley won the right to be employed as a pilot by Ansett in a case heard by the Victorian Equal Opportunity Board.

Deborah Wardley, a qualified pilot and flying instructor, sent in the first of many applications to Ansett Airlines. It was not until after a prolonged battle through the new Victorian Equal Opportunity Board (now VCAT) and later the Supreme and … Continue reading

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Unpaid Maternity Leave

The Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973 provided for (unpaid) Maternity Leave for Commonwealth public servants.

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‘Equal pay for equal work’

Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission ruling of ‘equal pay for equal work’, to be phased in by 1972.

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Married women allowed to work in the Commonwealth Public Service

The bar on employment of married women in the Commonwealth Public Service was abolished in 1966. This restriction meant that married women could only be employed as temporary staff, restricting their promotion opportunities (only permanent staff could be in a … Continue reading

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Female basic wage set at 75% of the male basic wage

First determination of a female basic wage. The Commonwealth Arbitration Court set this at 75% of the male basic wage.

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“Join us in a Victory Job”

This work is typical of the recruitment posters aimed at women during the Second World War. It draws on elements of popular visual culture to counter the perception of only a few years before that it was inappropriate for women … Continue reading

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The Australian Women’s Land Army (AWLA) established

The Australian Women’s Land Army (AWLA) was established in 1942 to attract women to replace male farm labourers otherwise engaged in the war effort.

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Minimum wage for women’s work set at 54 per cent of the male rate.

A minimum wage for women’s work was set by Mr Justice Higgins as part of the 1919 Clothing’s Trades Case – the first Commonwealth Arbitration case to set the minimum wage for women. The minimum wage for women then commonly … Continue reading

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Women must resign from working in the public service upon marriage

The Public Service Act 1902 explicitly required women to resign upon marriage, but allowed for equal pay. Shortly after Federation, the open competitive examinations leading to appointment directly into clerical and administrative positions in the Australian Public Service were closed … Continue reading

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