FWC releases details of 'road map' to consider ECEC wage rise
The Sector > Jobs News > FWC releases roadmap for ECEC Gender Undervaluation Award Review

FWC releases roadmap for ECEC Gender Undervaluation Award Review

by Jason Roberts

June 12, 2024

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has released details of the road map it will follow when considering whether variations to a number of Modern Awards, including those covering early childhood education and care (ECEC), are merited based on gender undervaluation grounds.


The release of a detailed statement of the FWC’s intentions is particularly relevant for the ECEC sector given signals from Treasurer Jim Chalmers that any Government funded wage increase decision will be contingent on FWC processes running their courses, including the Gender Undervaluation exercise. 


As per the FWC’s Annual Wage Review the Commission’s initial expectation was that it expects to complete its gender equity research project by the “the time of next year’s review.” Although the FWC does not speak to the completion date in this new release some details on the hearing timetable for the next six months has been provided. 


The following key points are contained in the FWC release:


  1. The Children’s Services Award 2010 is one of the four awards being reviewed 


  1. The enquiry will determine to what extend Gender Undervaluation has impacted rates


The 2024 Modern Award Review determined that a review of whether these awards have been the subject of gender undervaluation is merited based on findings from other processes such as the Teachers decision, the Annual Wage Review (AWR) 2022–23 Decision, the Stage 1 and Stage 2  reports of the gender pay equity research project conducted following the AWR 2023 decision, the Stage 1 Aged Care decision and the Stage 3 Aged Care decision.


  1. Seven areas of enquiry and issues to consider have been provisionally identified 


The FWC has outlined seven key areas of focus it will attend to in its review of primary relevance to the ECE sector:

  • Has the work to which the classifications apply been historically undervalued because of assumptions based on gender?
  • Would variations to the minimum wage rates be justified by work value reasons and would such variations be necessary to achieve the modern awards objective?
  • Does the work of employees under any of the classifications involve the exercise of ‘invisible’ skills and/or caring work as per the Stage 3 Aged Care decision?
  • Is the rate identified in the Aged Care decision appropriate to apply to any of the classifications for which a Certificate III qualification or equivalent is required?
  • Is the rate identified in the Aged Care decision appropriate to apply to any of the classifications for which an undergraduate degree qualification or equivalent is required?
  • What are appropriate terms for a new or modified classification structure?
  • What is an appropriate implementation timetable for Award increases having regard to funding and related issues?


  1. Timetable


A hearing before the FWC will take place on Tuesday, 18 June 2024 to hear any submissions concerning the provisional list of issues and timetable has been confirmed with final hearings scheduled for December 2024. 


As noted above no further detail on completion timings have been provided. 


To review the FWC release please click here

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