9 Jun 2009

Funding U-turn on gender-pay gap advice

9:11 pm on 9 June 2009

The Government is to provide $500,000 a year for advice on the gender-pay gap - just months after it scrapped the Labour Department's pay and employment equity unit.

The unit, which was set up to improve pay for female workers and look at the reasons for the gender gap, employed seven staff at a cost of $2 million a year.

Now the Government says the Ministry of Women's Affairs will receive yearly funding of $500,000 to provide advice on the pay gap and other employment-related issues.

Women's Affairs Minister Pansy Wong announced the measure on Tuesday.

Labour says the Government is misleading the public over its plan to fund research into gender equity, arguing that initiating a new round of pay-equity research after disbanding the Labour Department unit is little more than a sham.

But the Government says its funding will be used directly for research and solutions, whereas the unit under Labour had more of an operational focus.