Equal Pay Day: 28 August 2020

Some Equal Pay Days have kept the gap wider than others

To mark this year’s Equal Pay Day on 28 August 2020, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has calculated the date of each Australian state and territory’s Equal Pay Day.

  Gender pay gap The difference between male and female average weekly full-time salary Women’s additional working days (on average) State’s Equal Pay Day
ACT 8.1% $156.90 32 1 August
SA 8.4% $132.20 33 2 August
TAS 8.5% $131.00 34 3 August
VIC 9.9% $175.80 40 9 August
NT 12.2% $220.40 51 19 August
QLD 15.3% $268.60 66 4 September
NSW 15.3% $286.00 66 4 September
WA 22.7% $454.00 107 15 October
National 14.0% $253.60 59 28 August

“In every state and territory of Australia, women are dealing with the consequences of pay gaps favouring men, said Libby Lyons, Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. “That we still have a gender pay gap clearly shows that women and men do not have equal standing in the Australian workforce.”

“I know many organisations are going through tough times because of the COVID-19 crisis, but Australian employers still have a really important role to play in closing the pay gap. We know from the data we have collected over the last six years that the actions of employers have led to material improvements in gender equality outcomes in our workplaces and the subsequent drop in the gender pay gap.

“This Equal Pay Day, I urge all employers to stay on track and keep the gap in mind. Do that pay gap analysis and take action on the findings. Set targets, measure your progress, make people accountable for the outcomes and report the results to your board and executive team. Make sure all of your employees – women and men – have equal access to flexible work and paid parental leave. If all employers do this, the pay gap will continue to head south.”

About the national gender pay gap

The national gender pay gap measures the difference between the average weekly full-time base salary earnings of women and men, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. It is a measure of women’s overall position in the paid workforce and does not compare like roles.

Key facts

  • The national gender pay gap is 14.0%.
  • On average, women working full-time earned $1558.40 while men working full-time earned $1812.00.
  • Full-time average weekly earnings difference between women and men is $253.60.

More information: Australia’s gender pay gap statistics 2020; WGEA data explorer

Media contact: Murray Black 0438 071 876 / E murray.black@wgea.gov.au

About the Agency: The Workplace Gender Equality Agency is an Australian Government statutory agency charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces. www.wgea.gov.au.


Background information on the national gender pay gap

What is the difference between the gender pay gap and equal pay?

Equal pay is the concept of women and men receiving the same pay for performing the same role or different work of equal or comparable value. In Australia, this has been a legal requirement since 1969.

The gender pay gap is different to equal pay. It measures the difference between the average earnings of women and men in the workforce.

When we talk about the gender pay gap, we are talking about the difference between the pay of women and men, on average, across organisations, industries, and the workforce as a whole.


What is the aim of Equal Pay Day?

Equal Pay Day marks the additional days from the end of the previous financial year that women, on average, must work to earn the same as men earnt that year. It is a symbolic day that helps to raise awareness of the barriers women face in accessing the same financial rewards for their work as men.

In Australia, it is based on the gender pay gap expressed as a percentage of male earnings and is calculated using Australian Bureau of Statistics data. In recent years, it has usually occurred between the last week of August to the first week of September. Other countries also mark Equal Pay Day although some, like the US and Germany, use the calendar year.


What are the changes to this instalment of Average Weekly earnings data?

Traditionally, the data used by WGEA for calculating the national gender pay gap is the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Full-Time Adult Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings Trend series from the Australian Weekly Earnings survey.

However, given the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market and that it is not yet known whether this impact will be short, medium or long-term, the ABS has suspended the use of trend data.

Instead, WGEA has used seasonally adjusted data to calculate average weekly earnings during the COVID-19 period. This means the Agency will not compare this year’s gender pay gap statistics to previous years.

Read the ABS’s explanation here about why they have suspended trend estimates during the COVID-19 period.


What is the difference between trend data and seasonally adjusted data?

Understanding the difference between trend estimates and seasonally adjusted estimates is important when you are examining a series of data points and comparing data points to each other.

Seasonally adjusted estimates are produced by removing the seasonal (intra-year) patterns from a dataset. They provide useful information on the effects of short-term, major events.

The trend estimates are less sensitive to sampling variations, which can make the data ‘noisy’. Trend estimates smooth out the ‘noise’ from the seasonally adjusted estimates and can give a better overview of the long-term behaviour of the data.

Find out more here about the difference between trend estimates and seasonally adjusted estimates.