Have you ever wondered why the hallmark colours of International Women’s Day are vibrant purple, bold green and stark white?

A seemingly random colour palette actually turns out to uncover a deeper meaning to the day. Purple signifies justice, dignity, and loyalty to the pursuit of justice, fairness and equal opportunity. Green symbolises hope and ambition for the future. While, white represents purity.

The 2023 theme for International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity. Equitable action requires more than merely treating everyone in the same manner. Rather, we must embrace equity and understand the importance of difference as both a necessary and positive element.

Pay Secrecy Banned in Australia

“To embrace equity means to understand the journey required to achieve women’s equality.’[1] A step in this direction is the ban on pay secrecy clauses within employment contracts and workplace policies brought about by the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022.

Banning pay secrecy clauses destroys a barrier to achieving gender pay equity in the workplace by allowing open and honest dialogue between co-workers. As a result of the ban, Employees now have the freedom to discuss pay differences as well as terms and conditions of the employee’s employment that are reasonably necessary to determine remuneration outcomes, with their co-workers.

From 7 June 2023, the pay secrecy clause ban applies to ALL existing and new employees.

Effective from 7 June 2023, pay secrecy terms cannot be included in employment contracts or other written agreements that were entered into on or after 7 December 2022.

In regard to existing employment contracts, the pay secrecy clauses that currently exist within the contract will only remain in effect until 7 June 2023. However, if an existing contract is modified for any reason before 7 June 2023, the pay secrecy clause will become void on the date of modification.

Employers who enter into employment contracts or agreements that have pay secrecy terms could face significant penalties. As such, we recommend that you:

  • Review and amend your employment contracts to ensure that they are not inconsistent with the legislation;
  • contact our employment team if your business needs further guidance or support in relation to compliance.

[1] https://www.internationalwomensday.com/about