Australia Post gets the gong for sexist behaviour

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Australia Post gets the gong for sexist behaviour

Australia Post has won an ‘Ernie’ award for ‘sexist behaviour towards employees’.

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Australia Post has won an ‘Ernie’ award for ‘sexist behaviour towards employees’.

The Ernie awards, which are judged by around 400 women and aim to highlight sexist behaviour, singled out Australia Post in the Industrial Relations category for allegedly telling female staff to lose weight and cutting the maternity leave of an employee whose child was born prematurely.

Dr Meredith Burgmann, President of the Legislative Council of NSW who presented the awards at a dinner on Thursday night, said that employers are increasingly making the list. ‘It used to be mainly union officials who made up the shortlist, but now it tends to be more employers and workplaces,’ she said.

Australia Post, who also won a union-awarded ‘Tony’ for being a bad employer in 2002, told WorkplaceInfo that it prefers not to comment on the awards, but did say that ‘the two issues were taken out of context and appropriate personal apologies had already been made to the persons involved’.

However Jim Metcher from CEPU said that the award ‘adds to the queue of questionable decisions made by Australia Post in recent years. This is has been caused by the ongoing behaviour that continues to be exposed about how Australia Post managers treat their workforce’.

Australia Post was nominated for two incidents deemed sexist. In the first an employee has her maternity leave entitlement cut from 12 to six weeks after her baby was born 13 weeks premature because the date was 12 weeks earlier than she had nominated. The second incident involved a manager telling female staff to lose weight and get into shape if they wanted to be considered for positions at the new Australia Post outlet at the Westfield Bondi Junction centre.

Others to make the shortlist for the Industrial Relations category were Westco, the Union Club, Kenthurst Rotary Club, union official Craig Johnson, Westfield, Abbey Group Leighton and Virgin. 

The Ernie awards have been running for 12 years and cover a range of areas including sport, media, politics and the judiciary.

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