Post lifted from Leon Bertrand. See the original for links
Last week we had two separate stories on the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission's left-wing political bias. These stories can be found here and here. We have since found another example of bias for your enjoyment. ADCQ's Submission to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission for consideration in its Pay Equity Inquiry in June of this year reveals that the Commission explicitly favours a Socialist industrial relations system, again breaching the Public Sector Code of Conduct. For instance, the Commission advocates that it, or the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, should set wages in private sector workplaces:
28. The QIRC discussion paper discusses possible amendments to the ADA to permit the Commission or Tribunal to make equal remuneration orders based on comparable worth. The discussion paper speculates whether it may be possible for an equal remuneration order based on comparable worth to direct that the specified employee or class of employees be reclassified.
Of course, recent thinking on industrial relations has come to the conclusion that employers, and not Government bodies, are best able to evaluate the worth of an employee's work. This coincides with the rise of economic rationalism and the decline of soft socialism. Nevertheless, the "fresh thinking" of the ADCQ essentially advocates a new form of centralised wage-fixing, as though Tribunal members are better judges of an employee's worth. As we have already shown, Tribunal members often know very little. In fact, the H.R. Nicholls society has pointed out that:
The inevitable problem which arises in every specialist tribunal, unstated by Justice Guidice, is the composition of these tribunals. The type of people who seek appointment to antidiscrimination tribunals, and often succeed in getting appointed, are often women, homosexual, and sometimes disabled (the former head of the Victorian tribunal was a blind woman). They tend to be steeped in student revolutionary culture of the 1970s and are living specimens of an undergraduate time warp. For them, employers, large and small, are the drivers of capitalist oppression. In this time warp, white, middle-aged males harass, intimidate, fail to promote, fail to hire and terminate employees as part of a conspiracy against non-Anglo-Saxons and women. Profoundly ignorant of how markets work in a free economy, and guided by chattering-class perceptions of how and why hiring and firing occurs, they are determined to bring light to the unenlightened and to expose the evils of the market economy. These tribunes are not judges at all-but social engineers sitting on the bench-inspired by the example of Sir William Deane, Sir Anthony Mason and Sir Gerard Brennan.
Being the left wing organisation that it is, the ADCQ couldn't resist a crack at Workchoices, the Australian left's second biggest obsession after climate change, the latter being a phenomenon which has occurred since the beginning of Earth's existence:
39. If there are no legislative constraints imposed by the WRA and Queensland does have power to adopt and implement legislative models similar to those implemented in Sweden or Quebec, United Kingdom and the Netherlands, France or Switzerland, the ADCQ submits that a strong mandatory model binding all employers should be passed in Queensland. Such a legislative model is likely to be one of the most effective means to have systemic outcomes, if combined with other measures to address the underlying causes of the gender pay gap. This type of measure becomes even more necessary, given that the individualisation and decentralisation of wage bargaining, and the removal of state based equal remuneration principles under WorkChoices eliminates some of the former means of reducing the gender pay gap.
The ADCQ goes on to express its strong support for Quebec's model which requires employers to "methodically report on their compliance" with bureaucratic regulations imposed by the state, including a "pay equity process" and a need to post results of such a process. Such a model might sound appealing to some, however from an economist's point of view there are hidden costs associated with over-regulation such as this. What ADCQ are proposing is that the compliance costs of business are increased, whilst their ability to run their businesses efficiency and flexibly are undermined. In short, it's a typical soft left proposition which, if implemented, would be detrimental to the Australian economy. On top of this authoritarian approach, ADCQ even proposes the following:
46. Preferred tenderer status should be conferred by the Government on those organisations that have undertaken an approved gender pay equity audit and have taken action to achieve pay equity at all levels of their organisation. The QIRC discussion paper notes that this measure has been introduced in Switzerland. Public procurement policies are increasingly being used internationally to further social goals including equality in employment. Procurement policies can attain these objectives by requesting contractors to modify the gender, racial or ability/disability make up of their workforce, or by encouraging contactors who are female or belong to racial or ethnic minorities to partake in public tenders. The USA, South Africa and Europe are all using procurement policies to promote equality in the workplace.
Whilst ADCQ is designed to fight against discrimination, it keenly wishes to implement AA, a form of discrimination that the left promotes. Again, there are hidden costs to the economy if you force employers to hire people for reasons other than merit. But of course, just like the rest of the soft left, ADCQ seems oblivious to this. Further mandatory regulations ADCQ wish to impose on the very businesses that generate the wealth that funds ADCQ include:
* Introduce a 14 week paid maternity leave scheme (recommendation 13).
* Phase in a more comprehensive scheme consisting of:
a) At a minimum, two weeks paid paternity leave to be taken at the birth of the child; and
b) A further 38 weeks of paid paternal leave that is available to either parent (recommendation 14).
Again, this clearly shows that ADCQ believes that businesses are generally bottomless pits of money that can be asked to fund virtually anything, even if they don't receive a cent in return. The irony of course is that compulsory paid maternal leave would actually result in discrimination to women: the very thing ADCQ seeks to avoid. It is quite apparent that the world ADCQ aims for is essentially a socialist utopia, completely divorced from economic realities which make it unworkable. It's the same dreamy utopianism which made Karl Marx pen that "religion is the people's opiate", not realising that he himself was befuddled with a rather similar narcotic.
This blog has already pointed out that women encounter few disadvantages, and are increasingly rising to the top. The only evidence that ADCQ is able to produce as evidence that Anti-Discrimination laws do not redress discrimination in the field of employment are the comments of another Tribunal leftist, namely Glynn J in the NSW Pay Equity Inquiry. It seems it has never occurred to the leftists at ADCQ that there are other reasons besides discrimination that are responsible for women generally earning less than men. For instance, women often choose to be the stay at home mothers for years, before they re-enter the workforce, thereby slowing their career development. Secondly evidence also suggests that in many cases men are more ambitious than women, and this is due to higher levels of pressure and expectation being imposed on men. ADCQ happily ignores all of these considerations, deciding to instead dogmatically assume that it is the best judge of the value of one's work. It is a push for socialism, under a new, post-Marxist guise.
In a previous post on the ADCQ, we pointed out some key principles enshrined in the Public Service Code of Conduct:
The Australian Public Service:is apolitical, performing its functions in an impartial and professional manner; provides a workplace that is free from discrimination and recognises and utilises the diversity of the Australian community it serves; has the highest ethical standards; is openly accountable for its actions, within the framework of Ministerial responsibility to the Government, the Parliament and the Australian public;is responsive to the Government in providing frank, honest, comprehensive, accurate and timely advice and in implementing the Government's policies and programs; delivers services fairly, effectively, impartially and courteously to the Australian public and is sensitive to the diversity of the Australian public;
Once again, with its push for obsolete left-wing policies, ADCQ has revealed that it is not a politically impartial organisation. Rather, it is an organisation whose political orientation can best be described as soft left, and which is quite apparently out of touch with the economic and social realities of the real world.
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)