Removal of discrimination in award rates

Updated time

Last updated

20 December 2016

Aboriginal Stockmen Case 1966

In the Cattle Industry Case 1966[1] (the Aboriginal Stockmen's Case), the Commission decided to remove the exemption of Aboriginal employees from an award. This led to the removal of all such exemptions from federal awards. The result was that one award rate applied to all employees, whether Aboriginal or not. It suggested that a simpler system of slow worker permits might be developed to allow pastoralists to apply for exemptions on a single employee basis. 


[1] (1966) 113 CAR 651, Kirby CJ, President, Moore J, Taylor Senr C, 7 March 1966

Equal Pay Cases 1969 & 1972

In the Equal Pay Case 1969[1] the Commission continued in force different minimum wage provisions for men and women. However, it put in place a set of principles which enabled the rates to be reviewed and reconsidered.

In the National Wage and Equal Pay Cases 1972[2] the Commission decided that all award rates, other than the minimum wage, would be set without regard to the sex of the employee. They would be set on ‘work value’ grounds, that is, on the basis of the value of the work. This led to the end of the system of unequal award rates that had operated since 1912.


[1] (1969) 127 CAR 1142, Moore J, President, Williams J, Public Service Arbitrator Chambers, and Gough C, 19 June 1969

[2] (1972) 147 CAR 172, Moore J, A/g President, Robinson J, Coldham J, Public Service Arbitrator Taylor, Brack C, 15 December 1972