Top posts filled at FWC and Gender Equality Agency

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Top posts filled at FWC and Gender Equality Agency

New appointments to the Fair Work Commission have been announced, as well as the new Workplace Gender Equality Agency director. Meanwhile, the Greens have introduced a bill to help close the gender pay gap.

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New appointments to the Fair Work Commission have been announced, as well as the new Workplace Gender Equality Agency director. Meanwhile, the Greens have introduced a Bill to help close the gender pay gap.

New Fair Work commissioners

 
Three new commissioners and a new deputy president for the Fair Work Commission were announced yesterday.
 
Employment Minister Senator Eric Abetz made the announcement ahead of next week’s Cabinet reshuffle, with employer groups welcoming the news. Labor Shadow Minister for Employment Brendan O’Connor said he had “rushed through … ideological appointments”.
 
The new appointments are:
  • Geoffrey Bull: promoted to deputy president. Prior to his FWC appointment, Bull was with the AMMA (Australian Mines and Metals Association)
  • Tanya Cirkovic: currently principal of specialist employment and workplace relations law firm, Tanya Cirkovic & Associates, and formerly a senior partner at Kroger & Kroger
  • Christopher Platt: currently manager of employee relations at BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam project and previously general manager of workplace relations policy with AMMA
  • Tony Saunders: a NSW barrister, specialising in employment litigation.

New Workplace Gender Equality Agency director

 
Former BHP executive Elizabeth (Libby) Lyons has been announced as the new director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. 
 
Lyons is currently based in Adelaide, and previously headed BHP Billiton’s corporate affairs for its Olympic Dam project.  

According to the government’s official announcement, Lyons was previously general manager of external relations at Atlas Iron and has also held senior public affairs roles at CITIC Pacific Mining, Alcoa Australia and the Western Power Corporation. Recently she was also the executive chairman of the Perth-based disability charity Kalparrin. 
 
Lyons will commence her five year appointment in late October. 
 
Non-public sector employers with 100 or more employees are required to report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency annually against gender equality indicators. 

Greens' bill to expose gender pay gap

 
Greens deputy leader Larissa Waters yesterday introduced a bill to the federal parliament to ban so called “gag clauses” in private sector contracts of employment that prevent employees from discussing how much they are paid.
 
The bill aims to close the gender pay gap, as, according to Senator Waters, “when pay is set in secret deals and employees aren't allowed to discuss the outcome women lose out”.

The Fair Work Amendment (Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2015 would ban pay gag clauses and make existing gag clauses unenforceable. The Greens are seeking support for the bill from other parties.
 
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