Labor: Government’s Response to the Respect@Work Report

After more than a year of delays, it’s about time Scott Morrison did something to respond to the Respect@Work report about sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.

Labor will look carefully at the detail of the Government’s response. We are glad that the Government has agreed to a number of the report’s recommendations. But we need to see what actions the Government will actually take, and what funding they will actually provide.

We sincerely hope that the announcements made today will lead to lasting, positive change for Australian women. It is long overdue.

This can’t just be another Scott Morrison political fix. Australian women want action from Mr Morrison, not just words.

It shouldn’t have taken an alleged rape in Parliament House and a litany of scandals to get the Liberals to act. There’s no excuse for their delays.

In the last 12 months, Scott Morrison could find time to introduce laws designed to cut people’s pay, but he apparently couldn’t find time to help stop sexual harassment. Talk about having his priorities all wrong.

There’s no doubt that women have fallen behind under the Liberals.

Over the last eight years, the Liberals have cut family benefits, childcare, schools, and Medicare. They’ve abolished the Family Court. They’ve tried to cut funding from respectful relationships education in schools. And they’ve tried to make women in crisis drain their own superannuation accounts to be able to escape a violent relationship.

Australia has slipped 26 places in the World Economic Forum’s gender ranking since 2013. Australia is now in 50th place worldwide – the worst result ever.

Australian women want real leadership.

Women want a government that’s on their side. That’s what Labor will deliver with:

  1. A drive to close the gender pay gap and increase pay for women workers – particularly in caring jobs;
  2. A guaranteed 12 per cent superannuation – and a more secure, dignified retirement for Australian women;
  3. Cheaper childcare for Australian families – increasing women’s participation in the workforce; and
  4. Ten days of paid domestic violence leave – so that women leaving a violent relationship can stay connected to their employment.

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