After months of campaigning from the sector, led by the Council to Homeless Persons, the Federal Government has announced an extension of the Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) Supplementation funding for the Australian homelessness sector. This means that the sector can continue to support people without a home without a loss of resources and capacity, while homelessness services respond to the increased demand of people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
In 2012, the Fair Work Commission made an ERO for the social and community services industry, to address the gender-based inequality in wages paid to workers in the sector. Federal funding for ERO supplementation was due to end on 30 June 2021, and the Federal Government was planning to return to the funding levels seen in 2012, before the ERO was made.
With the extension of the funding, programs currently receiving ERO supplementation will now not be cut for community sector organisations delivering federally-funded programs. It will also mean that the gains in gender equity can be achieved as a result of a continued ERO in the community sector’s predominantly female workforce.
Congratulations to all who raised their voices on this urgent issue. The extension of the ERO funding would not have happened without the coordinated effort of the Australian homelessness sector that assists people at risk of or experiencing homelessness to find a safe and secure place to call home.