Tough Workplace Topics on Channel 9 Today Extra

Tough Workplace Topics on Channel 9 Today Extra with David Campbell Sylvia Jeffreys and Sue Ellson

Tough Workplace Topics on Channel 9 Today Extra

By Sue Ellson

Topic: Tough Workplace Topics
Sub Topics: Ask for a Pay Rise, Gender Pay Gap, Working from Home
Presenters and Hosts: David Campbell and Sylvia Jeffreys
Workplace Expert in Melbourne: Sue Ellson
Date: 26 February 2024 at 10:50am
Show: Today Extra
Television Station: Channel 9’s Today Extra Show, National Australian Television
Appearance Number: 18
Hashtags: #sueellson #workplace #careersadvice
Video Link:
Time: 00:03:15

On Monday 26 February 2024, I appeared on Channel 9’s Today Extra show to talk about tough workplace topics including how to ask for a pay rise, how to deal with a low pay rise, what to do if you find out you are female and are being paid less than your male counterpart and how to ask if you can work from home.

David Campbell, Sylvia Jeffreys and Sue Ellson discussing Tough Workplace Topics on Channel 9’s Today Extra


The average Aussie will spend roughly 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime That’s a hell of a week at work, some making our jobs work for us we got to do that it’s a must.

The key is knowing how to have hard conversations at times with your boss so to teach us how to tackle these tricky chats we’re joined now by career expert Sue Ellson in Melbourne, good morning to you Sue Hey Sue


The cost of living crunch has put a lot of pressure on many Aussies even more pressure on a lot of people to try to get a pay rise so how do you begin with that conversation, how do you begin with that ask?

Well you have to ask, that’s the first thing and you really need to be able to provide the information about how you in your job have increased profits, productivity or performance, so for instance, if you want to ask for a $1,000 pay rise you’re going to need to be able to show that you’ve either increased revenue or reduced costs by three to seven thousand dollars. You can also do some research on the website to find out the comparable rates and you may also be able to negotiate other benefits and interestingly the best time to do this is between the ages of 40 and 49 because that’s when people are paid the most but if you’re outside that age range really showcasing your value is critical.

Yeah but they people like to manage expectations these managers don’t they? Mmm So I mean what if you receive a disappointing pay increase what’s the best way to say is there more?

Yes well your employer may not be fully aware of all of the contributions you’re making so you definitely need to make that clear and then I would ask them specifically, what do I need to do to achieve a pay increase. Get those details in writing and make arrangements for about three months time to meet again and say look I’ve done all this stuff can we renegotiate now. But just remember, a lot of employers are finding it difficult too. Their costs have gone up as well.

Okay so from today interestingly the gender pay gap for 5,000 Australian companies will be made public we’re going to see a lot of that data come out tomorrow so if a woman finds out that she’s being paid less than her male counterpart tomorrow how can she address that with her boss?

Yes well that report is only going to show average and median incomes for men women and non-binary people but the legal, there is a legal requirement for equal pay for equal work so you can ask that question of your employees and find that out so you might want to suggest that in the first instance there be a Gender Pay Equity Audit so you go through the whole organization and find out if everybody’s being paid fairly and if that doesn’t work you can actually apply to the Fair Work Commission for an Equal Remuneration Order where they have to pay you the the equal amount.

Yeah will be interesting to see that report we’ll have the details on that tomorrow. But pay isn’t the only tricky topic because people out there they still want more flexible arrangements work from home’s not going from anywhere how do you ask your boss about that?

Well technically if you’ve been in your job full-time for 12 months you do have the right to ask for flexibility or the ability to work from home. Now obviously that comes with advantages and disadvantages so you can’t always get guarantee it’s going to be smooth sailing and you do need to be honest you’re going to have to set up systems and processes probably do more reporting more documentation but again it needs to work for both you and your employer.

Mmm, all right Sue great to get your insights on it today thanks for joining us. Thank you. See you soon.



  • Collect printed evidence
  • Compare your rate to average
  • Clarify scope of role
  • Negotiate benefits


  • Reconsider contribution
  • Explain expectations
  • Ask for specifics
  • Request review


  • Assess statistics
  • Clarify position description
  • Request pay equity audit
  • Check


  • Ask after 12 months
  • Start with trial
  • Help with systems and documentation
  • Mutually beneficial agreement

Additional Question

The Federal Government recently introduced the ‘Right to Disconnect’ – What do you do if your employer is STILL contacting you after hours?

I would suggest that you put it in writing and make it clear as to when you can be contacted after hours and make arrangements for a separate work phone to be given to the person who can be contacted after hours. You can apply for a ‘stop order’ from the Fair Work Commission but hopefully you can have a reasonable discussion before it gets to that and find a manageable way forward. Remember that we all need to manage our work and life times, especially if we are self-employed.


  • ask not to be contacted after hours
  • confirm contact times in writing
  • have a separate work phone
  • manage work / life times


How to ask for a pay rise (comprehensive)

Fair Work Commission Pay Calculator

My Future – Salary Ranges By Occupation

Workplace Gender Equality Agency (multiple resources)

Equal Remuneration Order

Gender Pay Gap Analysis (audit)

Guide to Gender Pay Equity

How a better approach to parental leave could help HR achieve gender equity

Commuting Or Working From Home Or Working Close To Home Or Hybrid (backgrounder)

Australian Employees Given New Right to Disconnect (and stop order)

Right to Disconnect Backgrounder

Shared Online

TOUGH WORKPLACE TOPICS // 💰Have you been tempted to ask for a pay rise – or a bigger pay rise recently? Do you know if you are being paid the same pay for the same tasks? 🏡 Would you like to ask if you can work from home or have more flexibility?

I discuss all of these issues in this short segment on Channel Nine’s Today Extra with David Campbell and Sylvia Jeffreys, produced by Annabel Wilcher.

The main points include:

✅ if you would like a $1,000 pay rise, you need to increase revenue or decrease costs by $3,000 – $7,000

✅ people aged 40-49 are usually paid the ‘most’ but if you are outside this range, you need to really showcase your value

✅ if you have a sense that there is a Gender Pay Gap in your workplace, you can ask for a Gender Pay Equity Audit to be completed

✅ if you are not receiving equal pay for equal work, you can apply for an ‘Equal Remuneration Order’ from the Fair Work Commission

✅ if you have been in your role for 12 months, you can ask to work from home or for more flexibility

A transcript, details and reference links online at

#workplace #careersadvice #sueellson

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