30 March 2022
The Finance Sector Union (FSU) welcomes Westpac’s announcement today that they will formally remove barriers that prohibit workers from discussing their pay. Years of sustained pressure from the Finance Sector Union and questioning by parliamentary committees have finally convinced Westpac to remove pay secrecy clauses after the bank initially refused to do so 3 years ago.
The full-time gender pay gap in the finance industry is 26.9%1 and much of that is driven by a lack of transparency2. While the FSU welcomes the abolition of secrecy clauses this is only the first step in eliminating the gender pay gap.
As recently as last week FSU members who raised issues about pay parity were told by Westpac management that they were not permitted to discuss salaries publicly. The FSU hopes that Westpac will take the next step and introduce a disputes procedure that provides their workforce with a mechanism to challenge inequities in pay when they are uncovered.
The following quotes can be attributed to Julia Angrisano, National Secretary, Finance Sector Union of Australia:
“Westpac’s announcement today about the abolition of pay secrecy clauses is a welcome first step in driving an improvement in workplace culture.”
“This announcement by the bank will not in and of itself drive down the 26.9% gender pay gap in our industry but it is certainly an important first step.”
“This announcement demonstrates that these banks CAN take these decisions if they so choose. If Westpac can do it, so can the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. As our recent report3 demonstrates, workers pay an enormous price for pay secrecy and it is long past time for the CBA to end this practice.”
Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079