Monday, April 16, 2012

So much for equal pay - Australian company to pay women double

An Australian insurance company has decided to pay women double the money paid to its male employees in the first six weeks after they return from paid maternity leave.

That is a flagrant breach of the equal pay principles that have been pushed in the media for several decades:
NEW mums will be paid double for their first six weeks back at work under a major insurer's 20-week maternity leave scheme.

Insurance Australia Group, which owns CGU and NRMA Insurance, is offering the generous scheme to its 10,000 employees from today.

IAG is offering mothers 14 weeks' standard paid leave, plus six weeks at double pay when they return to work.

Combined with the Federal Government's 18 weeks' paid parental leave, women working at the insurance companies will get almost a year's wages while off work caring for children.

Could that be any clearer? If a woman has two children over a four year period she will end up being paid nearly four years' wages for two years' work; her male peers will work almost twice as many hours for the same income.

Will the unions stand up to protect equal pay for men? Not on your life:
The ACTU has welcomed the announcement, saying it should put pressure on other big banks and insurers to review their paid parental schemes.

"I think companies are not going to have any choice,'' ACTU president Ged Kearney told ABC Radio on Monday.

"We really need women to participate in our work place. It is important for the economy."

What about the media? Will it protest on behalf of male workers? Not likely. The Herald Sun ran this editorial:

The Insurance Australia Group workers will be paid double their wages in the first six weeks of their return to work...The move should be roundly applauded by the community...IAG has now thrown down the gauntlet to Australia's leading corporations to follow it down the path of progressive and sensible workplace relations.

The Herald Sun editor wants the double pay to become standard practice as a "progressive and sensible" measure.

Why? It's likely that several things are at play here. First, liberals don't think much of the motherhood role. They believe that power and autonomy come through careers and that it's therefore better for women to get back quickly into the workforce after having children. As part of this, equality is measured in terms of female workforce participation rates and lifetime earnings. And this tendency to look upon women in economic terms suits the interests of business just fine - it opens up a labour resource.

Traditionalists don't measure the good in terms of individual power and autonomy. We therefore place a higher value on the non-economic role of women as mothers within a family and we are more protective of the masculine provider/protector role that is exercised by fathers.

Paying women extra money is another step in undermining a masculine provider role. And whatever makes the male role within the family less necessary is likely to increase the instability of family life.

We ought to oppose what the IAG is doing; as a starting point, if I had a policy with either CGU or NRMA I would not be renewing it.


  1. "progressive and sensible"

    As a progressive i see nothing sensible about this.

  2. This proposal ties a woman more closely to the workplace. It is an incentive for her to return to work. Is it trying to overcome her desire to stay with her newborn?

  3. Hello Mark

    I've visited frequently over the last few weeks and I like your posts and the people who post here.

    During my time here you have helped me better understand the left right/divide, which seriously had me bamboozled. I think the leftist agenda is currently expanding and becoming widely destructive and I fear for my children's future under the direction we are heading. I could not understand how anyone could think like a progressive if they had a love of family, and the society and culture into which they were born. So thank you.

    I chose to be a stay at home mum and only worked (very) part time when my children started school. It hurt us financially but it has been the joy of my life to raise them and see them become happy, confident and succesful.

    Mark, we stay at home mums do an enourmous amount of unpaid work that helps the local community but obviously can't be taxed. Playgroups, canteen volunteering, helping on the mother's day stand, fundraising, P&C committees etc are all undertaken by parents who give their time freely because we want to contribute to our community. These feel natural to me.

    Babies in daycare are as sad a sight as the Romainian orphans we saw AND condemned a few years back.

  4. Us men are so gullible. We think women communicate to impart facts when in fact women communicate to express emotions. So when women say they want equal pay what they really mean is they want double pay. And women feel themselves to be so much more evolved than mere men that I'm sure they feel they're 'worth it'.

  5. "IAG is offering mothers 14 weeks' standard paid leave, plus six weeks at double pay when they return to work."

    They get paid to be absent. The remaining workers have no choice but to increase their own work load during this time. THEN, when the absentee returns, she will be paid double what the rest of the team receive. For the same work!

    I can see much resentment being generated even among many women.

    I have long maintained that the deceitful framing of the discourse surrounding the so-called gender wage gap would logically lead to women being paid more than men. It begins.

  6. Marie said,

    "During my time here you have helped me better understand the left right/divide, which seriously had me bamboozled."

    Yes I hate when people who want greater market freedoms are called "conservatives". It totally misrepresents the issues.

  7. Equal pay for equal work they said!

    No, I'm not surprised - female supremacy was always the goal of Feminism anyway.

  8. It could be argued that a company could save itself a lot of time, money and effort and increase its bottom line, if it simply hired men.

    Remove affirmative preferences for women, let the market determine the labour price and see if women truly are capable of holding their own.

    Either you work full time as a woman, do not have children and completely focus on your career like a man, or you suffer the consequences of having children and do not work whilst raising them. Why should men receive less for doing more?

    In fact, men should earn more entirely because they do not have to give birth and can continue to work and thus add to the companies bottom line. This should be factored in and when a man becomes a father, his salary increased for the first few weeks after his wife gives birth, so that the child is looked after and the man continues to work and be productive.

    The End.

    Oh, a disclaimer. The above comment is sexist. It takes into account the built in differences between the sexes and thus acknowledges that sex is not 'just a social construct' but a very real fact of life'.

    In other words, libby libtards. Suck my donk!

  9. Its cheaper to pay the woman to abandon her babies, than it is to find and train another woman for the role.

    Because when it comes down to it, if a woman is fired/leaves, she needs to be replaced by another woman, lest the equal opportunity commission decide to bankrupt the business with fines.

    So you get policies like this, which will undoubtedly make the male workers/childless women angry, but . . . its not like anyone cares about the opinions of men, and frankly, there are more women who have/want children than not.

  10. Marie, welcome to the site. Glad you're finding it of use.

  11. This is probably cheaper for the insurance company in the long run. But enticing women back to the workplace after having a kid ( difficult enough as it is) they are saving the costs on hiring and training her replacement.

    Insurance companies are notorious for getting the math right :)

  12. You have noted that it applies to the 10000 employees, true, and it includes male employees. As parental leave applies to the primary carer the male employees have the same benefit. Its only that usually its the women that stay at home to care for newborn children