Featured Image for This Melbourne cafe has an 18 percent ‘gender pay gap’ surcharge for male customers

This Melbourne cafe has an 18 percent ‘gender pay gap’ surcharge for male customers

Handsome Her, a vegan café in Brunswick, Melbourne, is addressing wage inequality between men and women by imposing a controversial surcharge on the former.

The establishment’s policy, which is colourfully written on their chalk board, involves male customers paying an 18 percent premium “to reflect the gender pay gap.” Other rules stated that women have priority seating, and that respect goes both ways.

According to co-owner Alex O’Brien, the surcharge takes effect one week out of every month, and it’s not compulsory. All the proceeds from the voluntary tax are donated to women’s causes.

“If people aren’t comfortable paying it or if men don’t want to pay it, we’re not going to kick them out the door,” she said. “It’s just a good opportunity to do some good.”

Handsome Her

The sentiment towards the idea has been mixed. Some have criticised the practice as discriminatory and hypocritical.

Others have been supportive. In fact, the café is always packed with customers – a lot of them being men.

“We’ve had men travel across town to visit us and pay ‘the man tax’ and throw some extra in the donation jar — guys, you’re pretty neat,” the owners wrote.

The 18 percent surcharge was taken from a 2016 report from Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency. The study found that women earn or 17.7 percent less, resulting in a salary difference of up to AUS$27,000 (US$21,500).

Via News.com.au

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